The New England Patriots have explanations for every piece of evidence Ted Wells presented against them in his report.
Two strong pieces of evidence the Wells Report presents against the Patriots comes in one string of texts between staffers John Jastremski and Jim McNally, in which the latter refers to himself as “the deflator” and jokingly threatens, “I’m not going to ESPN yet.”
The Patriots released the entire string of texts between Jastremski and McNally on Thursday in a document entited “The Wells Report in Context”:
12:21:46: JM “Whats up dorito dink”
12:22:53: JJ “Nada”
12:22:53: JM “Whens the pong party….im on fire”
12:23:10: JJ “Omg”
12:23:34: JM “Bring it”
16:29:48: JM “You still with your women”
16:29:59: JJ “Yup”
16:33:21: JM “You must have her [omitted out of respect to Mrs. Jastremski]”
16:34:39: JM “You must have a picture of her [omitted out of respect to Mrs. Jastremski]”
16:36:31: JJ “Omg”
16:37:16: JM “You working”
16:37:53 JJ “Yup”
16:39:40 JM “Nice dude…jimmy needs some kicks….lets
make a deal…come on help the deflator”
[After Mr. Jastremski does not respond for several minutes, Mr. McNally sends a follow-up text.]
16:47:15 JM “Chill buddy im just f****n with you….im not going
The Patriots explained McNally called himself “the deflator” because he was trying to lose weight. They said he threatened to go to ESPN, not because he was deflating footballs, but because he was receiving free shoes from Jastremski.
“The ‘espn’ reference in this string of jocular texts was part of their banter and related to the ‘new kicks,'” Patriots attorney Daniel L. Goldberg wrote. “Mr. Jastremski had made it clear to Mr. McNally over time that his (Jastremski’s) boss would not be happy with him were he to give away sneakers to Mr. McNally. That fact is quite explicit in a number of their texts. (p. 82 — after texting about possibly getting Mr. McNally sneakers and apparel, Mr. Jastremski writes: ‘unless Dave [his boss, Dave Schoenfeld] leaves the room tomorrow then it’ll wait till next week’).
“Getting sneakers or apparel for his friend Mr. McNally, in short, meant Mr. Jastremski would have to do so behind his boss’s back. They teased each other about whether Mr. Jastremski would get in trouble for giving him sneakers. The May 2014 McNally text reference to ‘not going to espn’ follows his request for ‘new kicks,’ and was Mr. McNally’s way of saying, in substance: ‘Hey, don’t worry about whether giving me those sneakers will get you in trouble — I’ll never tell.’
“The Wells investigators had this text long before their interviews with Mr. McNally and Mr. Jastremski. Had they asked Mr. McNally or Mr. Jastremski about this text when they interviewed each for a full day using four lawyers, they would have learned this.
“Certainly there is no way one could reasonably base conclusions that a scheme existed and was implemented to improperly deflate footballs based on these texts, particularly where ball tampering at the AFC Championship Game is belied by science, would have been illogical in concept and improbable in practice, and where it would, if anything, had disserved the quarterback.”
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