The New England Patriots shot back at the NFL on Thursday, and, boy, was it something.
More than one week after the Wells Report was released and just a few days after the NFL suspended Patriots quarterback Tom Brady while fining and stripping New England of draft picks, the team released its comprehensive retort to the Wells Report.
The entire document is loaded with rebuttal, but one tidbit stood out as kind of funny. One of the biggest pieces of “evidence” in the Wells Report was a text from Patriots employee Jim McNally to John Jastremski, labeling himself “the deflator.”
The Patriots attempted to explain away the text, saying the word “deflator” came up “in only ONE text from among many hundreds of texts that were made available to the investigators. The Report then takes this one word, in this one text, and uses it throughout the Report as a moniker for Mr. McNally. Is this true objectivity?”
According to the Patriots, the “deflator” term actually referenced McNally’s weight-loss attempts.
“Further, when (investigators) sought their additional interview with Mr. McNally, they never candidly said they had overlooked this text and therefore wanted Mr. McNally back for another interview to ask him about it. They never asked Mr. Jastremski about it in his interview. Had they done so, they would have learned from either gentleman one of the ways they used the deflation/deflator term. Mr. Jastremski would sometimes work out and bulk up — he is a slender guy and his goal was to get to 200 pounds.
“Mr. McNally is a big fellow and had the opposite goal: to lose weight. ‘Deflate’ was a term they used to refer to losing weight. One can specifically see this use of the term in a Nov. 30, 2014 text from Mr. McNally to Mr. Jastremski: ‘deflate and give somebody that jacket.’ (p. 87). This banter, and Mr. McNally’s goal of losing weight, meant Mr. McNally was the ‘deflator.’ There was nothing complicated or sinister about it.”
Thumbnail photo via Kyle Terada/USA TODAY Sports Images