Tom Brady’s Four-Game Suspension Upheld By Roger Goodell

Over six months, a million-dollar investigation, a ruling and an appeal since deflated footballs were discovered in the AFC Championship, Commissioner Roger Goodell has upheld Tom Brady’s four-game suspension.

A lengthy release issued by the league contains one paragraph that sums up Goodell’s decision:

“On or shortly before March 6, the day that Tom Brady met with independent investigator Ted Wells and his colleagues, Brady directed that the cell phone he had used for the prior four months be destroyed. He did so even though he was aware that the investigators had requested access to text messages and other electronic information that had been stored on that phone. ‎During the four months that the cell phone was in use, Brady had exchanged nearly 10,000 text messages, none of which can now be retrieved from that device. The destruction of the cell phone was not disclosed until June 18, almost four months after the investigators had first sought electronic information from Brady.”

(Click here for the entire decision.)

It is not uncommon for celebrities to change their phone numbers often, but destroying a phone is rather extreme. And the evident does suggest that Brady intentionally destroyed the phone to avoid sharing its contents with the Wells investigation.

According to reports, the NFLPA had attempted to reach a settlement with the NFL for an eliminated suspension to which the NFL was nonresponsive. Brady’s unwillingness to admit guilt seemed a major sticking point throughout this process.

Despite today’s announcement, Deflategate or Phonegate or whatever we are calling it now is by no means over.

NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport is reporting that Brady and the NFLPA will now take the case to federal report, as suggested would happen if the suspension was upheld. Brady will likely maintain his innocence and/or note that he was never under legal obligation to turn over his cell phone.

As it currently stands, Brady will return will in Week 6 against the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday Night Football.