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NFL: Tom Brady destroyed cell phone around time of meeting with Ted Wells

07.28.15 at 3:22 pm ET
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Within the NFL’s press release announce Tom Brady‘s suspension has been upheld, the NFL said Brady had his cell phone destroyed on or shortly before March 6, the day he met with Ted Wells.

Here is the statement from the NFL regarding the cell phone:

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.

With the NFL revealing that Tom Brady destroyed his cell phone, how do you now view his role in Deflategate?

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Read More: Deflategate, Tom Brady,

NFL upholds Tom Brady’s 4-game Deflategate suspension

07.28.15 at 2:40 pm ET
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The NFL announced Tuesday that Tom Brady‘s four-game suspension has been upheld.

The league issued the following statement:

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell upheld today the four-game suspension imposed on New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady on May 11. Brady’s appeal from that discipline was heard for more than ten hours on June 23. In the opinion informing Brady that his appeal had been denied, Commissioner Goodell emphasized important new information disclosed by Brady and his representatives in connection with the hearing.

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.

Based on the Wells Report and the evidence presented at the hearing, Commissioner Goodell concluded in his decision that Brady was aware of, and took steps to support, the actions of other team employees to deflate game footballs below the levels called for by the NFL’s Official Playing Rules. The commissioner found that Brady’s deliberate destruction of potentially relevant evidence went beyond a mere failure to cooperate in the investigation and supported a finding that he had sought to hide evidence of his own participation in the underlying scheme to alter the footballs.

For more Patriots news, check out weei.com/patriots.

Read More: Deflategate, Tom Brady,

Stephen A. Smith on MFB: NFL ‘incredibly confident’ Tom Brady will end up serving 4-game suspension

07.28.15 at 1:24 pm ET
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Stephen A. Smith

Stephen A. Smith

ESPN personalty Stephen A. Smith joined Middays with MFB Tuesday to discuss his reporting on the latest with Tom Brady‘s appeal of his four-game suspension. To hear the interview, go to the Middays with MFB audio on demand page.

Smith reported the NFL is likely to uphold Brady’s four-game suspension and the announcement will take place within the next 24-48 hours. Smith said Brady will absolutely not accept the decision and ultimately take it to the courts.

“Absolutely not. I’m not hearing that he’s going to accept it at all,” Smith said. “[The NFL is] just confident that ultimately they will end up getting what they want, which is having Tom Brady serve a four-game suspension. And barring anything that happens to change matters within the next 24 to 48 hours, the position of the NFL is that they’re going to uphold his four-game suspension and they are incredibly confident he’s going to end up serving it.”

Smith also reported Brady destroyed his cell phone. He clarified what he had heard regarding that report.

“I don’t blame anybody for shaking their head,” he said. “I was shaking my head when a couple of my sources told me that. But that’s what they said. And that’s why I went on the air and said what I said today. You got Adam Schefter and Chris Mortensen, those guys are intimately involved in covering the NFL and they do an exceptional job of doing so. … I heard what I heard and I made sure I called ESPN and said, ‘Look, this is what I’m hearing. This is what I am being told. And I was told this at 9:30 this morning.’ So I’m just sharing it with the public. That’s what they said about the suspension. They also said that they felt Tom Brady was uncooperative. They also said not only that they lean on what Ted Wells said, ‘We weren’t even looking at your cell phone, just show us text messages and emails pertinent to the Deflategate matter,’ and [Brady’s camp] refused, but they also said said they are of the belief that Tom Brady destroyed his cell phone.

“I’ll tell you something else too, one of the other things they talked about was the New England Patriots [as an organization]. They said that Robert Kraft obviously did what was in the best interest of the league because as an owner, you’ve got to do that. You sign on to be a part of the league. It’s one part of your business where you are competing against those owners on the field, but in that board room at those negotiating tables, you guys are teammates, you’re on the same side. There comes a point where you as an owner do what’s in the best interest of the league.

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Read More: Deflategate, Stephen A. Smith, Tom Brady,

Countdown to camp: Linebackers

07.28.15 at 12:00 pm ET
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How will Jerod Mayo bounce back this season? (Jerome Davis/Getty Images)

How will Jerod Mayo bounce back this season after being placed on season-ending injured reserve each of the last two seasons? (Jerome Davis/Getty Images)

As training camp approaches, we’€™ll offer a position-by-position breakdown of the 2015 Patriots. We started with the offensive side of the ball and now we’ve shifted to defense with the cornerbacks and safeties, now we take a look at the linebackers.

Depth chart (regular-season stats via Pro Football Reference): Jamie Collins (91 tackles, four sacks, two interceptions), Jerod Mayo (37 tackles, one sack), Dont’a Hightower (61 tackles, six sacks), Dane Fletcher (28 tackles), Darius Fleming (three tackles), Eric Martin (one tackle), Geneo Grissom (rookie), James Morris, Rufus Johnson, Jonathan Freeny (11 tackles, one sack.

THREE THINGS WE KNOW

1. One of the best young linebacker group in the league. Names such as Collins, Hightower and Mayo definitely are attention grabbers as the group has the potential to be one of the best linebacker cores in the entire NFL. Collins is entering his third season, Hightower his fourth and while Mayo is entering his eighth, he’s 29 years old and hasn’t played a full season since 2012. Provided the group stays healthy, which it has had trouble doing, there’s no doubt they will be considered one of the best in the league.

2. Jamie Collins is a freak. There isn’t a more athletic linebacker in the entire NFL. At 6-foot-3, 250 pounds, the Southern Mississippi product can do things not many can, both on the field and off. (Check out this video he posted to Instagram of him doing back flips this offseason.) He has the quickness of someone playing in the secondary, but the strength of a defensive lineman. At just 25 years old, Collins will be a special player to watch over the next several seasons.

3. More pressure on group this season. With the departures of Darrelle Revis, Brandon Browner and Kyle Arrington in the secondary, it seems like the Patriots will be putting more pressure on their front-seven than last year. Last season the secondary was able to take control of the opposition’s passing attack by shutting down wide receivers, but this year it might be a different story. Defensive coordinator Matt Patricia may need to create some pressure on the quarterback with blitzing more than he’s done in the past and with the linebackers the Patriots have, it will be something to monitor.

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Read More: Countdown to Camp, Dane Fletcher, Dont'a Hightower, Jamie Collins

Stephen A. Smith: Within 24-48 hours, NFL will announce Tom Brady 4-game suspension will stand

07.28.15 at 11:09 am ET
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According to ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith, Tom Brady‘€™s four-game suspension will likely be upheld by the NFL and the announcement will come in the next 24-48 hours.

Appearing ESPN’s First Take, Smith said: “Within the last hour, I heard the Tom Brady suspension will likely be upheld. We all recognize that anything is possible, obviously minds can change. From what I am hearing, within the next 24-48 hours, the NFL will announce that they are upholding the four-game suspension against Tom Brady. He will serve his four-game suspension.

“They know and expect the National Football Players Association to appeal that decision and file an injunction so Tom Brady will be able to play and all this other stuff, but at the end of the day the NFL doesn’t have any fear whatsoever about Tom Brady taking this to federal court. They are fully aware that this is a possibility. They are confident that they will win and they are going to uphold this four-game suspension.”

For more Patriots news, visit weei.com/patriots.

Read More: Deflategate, Tom Brady,

Countdown to camp: Safeties

07.28.15 at 6:43 am ET
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Devin McCourty returns as the undisputed leader of the Patriots secondary. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Devin McCourty returns as the undisputed leader of the Patriots secondary. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

As training camp approaches, we’ll offer a position-by-position breakdown of the 2015 Patriots. We started with the wide receivers and moved on to the tight ends, offensive line, quarterback and running backs. After a check on the cornerbacks, here’s a look at the safties.

Depth chart: Devin McCourty, Patrick Chung, Duron Harmon, Tavon Wilson, Nate Ebner, Jordan Richards (R), Dax Swanson

THREE THINGS WE KNOW

1. Unlike the cornerbacks, the safeties seem to be as close to a sure thing that there is on defense. That starts with Devin McCourty, fresh from signing a five-year, $47.5 million deal, with $28.5 million guaranteed. Since moving from corner to free safety full-time in 2013, the 27-year-old Rutgers product has been a staple in the Patriots secondary. He has taken over calling all coverages and, perhaps just as importantly, providing leadership in the secondary. Darrelle Revis often pointed to McCourty’s direction and calmness as a reason for the secondary coming together the way it did in 2014.

2. Patrick Chung has emerged as a solid piece in his second go-around in New England. When Chung left after the 2012 season, there were those in New England who openly wondered exactly what the Eagles were thinking. That thought grew around the NFL when Chung struggled in Philadelphia in his lone season as a free safety, the Eagles cut him loose. Bill Belichick saw this as a chance to bring back a player with understanding of his system. He made one tweak. He gradually eased Chung back into the defense in training camp and preseason as a strong safety, a position he hadn’t played on a regular basis since his second season in 2010. It paid big dividends last year, as he made 62 tackles, starting 15 of his 16 games at strong safety. With Revis on board, Belichick was able to take a lot of deep zone pass defense responsibilities off his plate and play him in the box. There were several cases where Chung lined up as a linebacker to support in run situations. He was sixth on the team in defensive snaps in 2014.

3. Versatility is the name of the game. Belichick has always asked his young safeties learning the system to earn their roster spots by showing they can fill numerous roles, i.e. special teams. This is how Nate Ebner and Tavon Wilson have hung around so long, especially Wilson. There have been times where Wilson’s days seemed numbered given his inability to earn regular defensive snaps. But that’s not where Wilson has shown his true value. “The more you can do, the better you’re going to be,” Wilson said after being drafted by Belichick in 2012. “I just come in, play special teams, be the best whatever position they play me as; just try to be the best I can. I love to play special teams. It’s a part of the game. I played it in college, I love to do it.”

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Read More: Countdown to Camp, Devin McCourty, New England Patriots, Patrick Chung

Colts owner: I haven’t been pushing Roger Goodell on Tom Brady’s Deflategate ban

07.27.15 at 7:31 pm ET
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Colts owner Jim Irsay said he hasn't pressured Roger Goodell to hold firm on Tom Brady's suspension. (Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

Colts owner Jim Irsay said he hasn’t pressured Roger Goodell to hold firm on Tom Brady‘s suspension. (Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

Add Jim Irsay to the list of owners who have roundly rejected the idea they are in the ear of commissioner Roger Goodell regarding Deflategate.

The Colts owner, who had reportedly been pressing Goodell to maintain Tom Brady‘€™s four-game suspension, told the Indianapolis Star on Monday that wasn’€™t the case.

“That’s not true at all,” Irsay said Monday. “I haven’t talked to Roger Goodell about Deflategate since late January. Not true. That’s not the way things work involving someone else’s business and someone else’s team.

“It’s not something I’ve ever seen, and I’ve been around ownership (in the NFL) for half a century.”

Irsay and Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti were identified by ESPN NFL reporter Sal Paolantonio as two rival owners who have pushing Goodell to keep Brady’€™s ban at four games. On Sunday, Bisciotti also denied the report.

“I have not and will not put any pressure on commissioner or anyone representing NFL office to take action in Deflategate,”€ Bisciotti told reporters. “The story circulating that I’€™ve put pressure on Roger [Goodell] is 100 percent wrong. The reports are unfair to Robert Kraft, who is honorable person and to his franchise. Let’€™s talk about football and the start of training camp. Fans and people like me want the issue resolved now.”

For more Patriots news, check out weei.com/patriots.

Read More: Deflategate, Jim Irsay, Steve Biscotti,
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