With the Ted Wells investigation of the “Deflategate” scandal complete and his official report released, the NFL has finally done what most people around the league have demanded them to – punish the New England Patriots for cheating.
The official list of sanctions for the team are as follows: the Patriots organization as a whole will be fined $1 million, lose a first-round draft pick in the 2016 NFL Draft and a fourth-round draft pick in the 2017 Draft, as well as go the first four games of the new season (home versus the Pittsburgh Steelers, away to the Buffalo Bills, home versus the Jacksonville Jaguars, and away to the Dallas Cowboys) without Super Bowl MVP and quarterback Tom Brady.
Sophomore Sam D’Urso says, “As a Jets fan, I am obviously happy our rivals will be weaker. However, I think it is unfair that the league took away a first-round pick in next year’s draft.”
Most non-Patriot fans have found the draft-pick section of the punishment unfair; however, most people agree with Brady being handed a hefty punishment. Some actually believe he should be suspended for more games.
Sophomore Achal Shah says, “The Patriots organization should not have been punished this much. They should have suspended Brady for more games rather than take away draft picks.”
Despite Brady’s claims to be innocent throughout this entire ordeal, Wells, in his official report, has stated that it is “more probable than not” than Brady at least knew of any ball-hindering activities taking place around the Patriots camp.
The Patriots have not restrained their lack of content and anger at the report. From the beginning of the Wells report’s first publishing, the Patriots voiced that they felt that the whole investigative process was flawed and unfair. Now, with the Patriots officially punished both on and off the field, Patriots owner Robert Kraft has threatened to sue the league.
Moreover, Brady and his agent have already appealed his suspension. The NFL Player’s Association (NFLPA) is capable of cutting the suspension down should Brady be successful in his appeal.
The whole “Deflategate” situation and subsequent investigation began after the team’s meeting with the Indianapolis Colts in the AFC Championship game on Sunday, January 18, 2015 to determine who would try to dethrone the Seattle Seahawks as world champions in Super Bowl XLIX two weeks later. The Patriots demolished the Colts in the game, scoring at will and cementing a 45-7 rout over one of their traditional rivals.
However, during the game, Colts linebacker D’Qwell Jackson intercepted a pass from Brady to tight end Rob Gronkowski during the second quarter. Jackson threw that same ball to the sideline to a Colts staff member “to keep as a trophy from the game.” However, the staff member felt the ball was noticeably underinflated, so he brought it to the attention of his Colts staff superiors and now the whole football world.
With the Patriot appeals from Brady and possibly one from Kraft on the horizon, the one thing that is certain is that, no matter people’s opinions on it, “Deflategate” will be recognized and remembered for years to come.
What are your opinions on “Deflategate” and the punishment the Patriots received?