One of Brian’s Favorite Quotes
Canis meus it comedit. My dog ate it.”
There’s a new story for why 2 Patriots employees were basically fired, and it makes the Deflategate aftermath even messier
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On May 6, the day the NFL released its massive report concluding the New England Patriots likely deflated footballs before the AFC title game, the team indefinitely suspended the two employees at the center of the scandal
Since then, the team and owner Robert Kraft have been defiant. They even published a sprawling 20,000-word rebuttal to the NFL’s report denying any wrongdoing.
But these strong words were undermined by the team’s original decision to essentially fire to the two employees, Jim McNally and John Jastremski. Why punish them if they didn’t do anything wrong?
Well, according to a new report from ESPN’s Adam Schefter, it was actually the NFL’s decision to punish McNally and Jastremski, not the team’s.
“For those asking why Patriots suspended two employees if those two did nothing wrong, as New England claims: NFL asked Pats to suspend them prior to discipline being handed down, per a league source in New York. New England obliged with the NFL’s request.”
This complicates what the the NFL said in a statement about the punishments.
“Patriots owner Robert Kraft advised Commissioner Roger Goodell last week that Patriots employees John Jastremski and James McNally have been indefinitely suspended without pay by the club, effective on May 6th,” the statement read.
On first read, that seems to imply that the team suspended the two. But note the language — it only says the Kraft told Goodell that they had been suspended, not that he had ordered it.
If Schefter’s report is to be believed, it gives the Patriots’ denials a little more weight because the team never actually felt the need to punish McNally and Jastremski. It’s also worth noting that Schefter’s information comes from a “league source in New York,” not from someone within the Patriots who wants to make them look innocent.
But it also makes things messy. The NFL released the Wells report on May 6 but waited until May 11 to punish the team and Brady. Yet according to the league’s statement, McNally and Jastremski were punished on May 6. If that decision was ultimately the NFL’s, why did they hand down discipline for the two employees immediately but wait nearly a week to go after the team and Brady? And why did the Patriots comply?