Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Brady out 4 Games for Deflategate; Team Also Fined $1M and Loses Draft Picks as Part of Punishment

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Brady out 4 Games for Deflategate; Team Also Fined $1M and Loses Draft Picks as Part of Punishment

Article excerpt

The NFL suspended Super Bowl MVP Tom Brady for the first four games of the season, fined the New England Patriots $1 million and took away two draft picks Monday as punishment for deflating footballs used in the AFC title game.

The league also indefinitely suspended the two equipment staffers believed to have carried out the plan, including one who called himself "The Deflator."

Brady has three days to appeal the suspension to commissioner Roger Goodell or his designee.

If the suspension is upheld - or even reduced to three games - Brady will miss the Patriots' Sept. 27 home game against the Jaguars. Brady has never lost to the Jaguars - 4-0 in the regular season and 2-0 in the postseason.

Brady would also miss games against Pittsburgh and Buffalo in the first two weeks of the season. The Patriots play at Dallas in Week 4. If Brady misses all four games, he would return the week of a Patriots-Colts AFC championship rematch in Indianapolis.

Second-year player Jimmy Garoppolo is the presumed starter during Brady's ban.

Troy Vincent, the NFL's executive vice president of football operations, wrote letters to the team and Brady saying a league-sponsored investigative report established "substantial and credible evidence" that the quarterback knew the employees were deflating footballs and failed to cooperate with investigators.

"Each player, no matter how accomplished and otherwise respected, has an obligation to comply with the rules and must be held accountable for his actions when those rules are violated and the public's confidence in the game is called into question," Vincent wrote to Brady.

The investigation by attorney Ted Wells found that Brady "was at least generally aware" of plans by two Patriots employees to prepare the balls to his liking, below the league-mandated minimum of 12. …

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