The plot thickens.
Among the many questions about the New England Patriots’ actions in the wake of Deflategate, one in particular stood out: If the team so adamantly denied deflating footballs, why did it indefinitely suspend John Jastremski and Jim McNally, the two employees implicated for wrongdoing in the Wells Report?
ESPN’s Adam Schefter offered a potential answer to this question Tuesday morning.
“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,” Schefter wrote in a Facebook post. “New England obliged with the NFL’s request.”
The league’s statement announcing New England’s discipline for Deflategate mentions Patriots owner Robert Kraft informed commissioner Roger Goodell that Jastremski and McNally had been suspended without pay, effective a week prior. The statement added that only Troy Vincent, NFL executive vice president of football operations, could reinstate the two.
The timing of Schefter’s report is interesting, as it follows his Monday report claiming the Patriots and the league are trying to resolve their differences without an appeal via “back-channel conversations.”
Thumbnail photo via Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports Images