The Wells Report was released Wednesday, with more than 240 pages detailing the NFL’s investigation into the New England Patriots’ DeflateGate controversy.
The report, which concluded it was “more probable than not” that the Patriots tampered with their footballs during their AFC Championship Game victory over the Indianapolis Colts, largely focused on three individuals: quarterback Tom Brady, locker room attendant Jim McNally and equipment assistant John Jastremski.
Texts between McNally and Jastremski published in the report suggest the two were aware of the team’s “inappropriate activities” and that they received gifts from Brady.
“In the weeks and months before the AFC Championship Game,” the report read, “McNally periodically exchanged text messages with the Patriots equipment assistant primarily responsible for the preparation of the Patriots game balls, John Jastremski. In a number of those text messages, McNally and Jastremski discussed the air pressure of Patriots game balls, Tom Brady’s unhappiness with the inflation level of Patriots game balls, Jastremski’s plan to provide McNally with a ‘needle’ for use by McNally, and McNally’s requests for ‘cash’ and sneakers together with the ‘needle’ to be provided by Jastremski.”
OCT. 24, 2014
McNally: Better be surrounded by cash and newkicks….or its a rugby sunday
McNally: (Expletive) tom
Jastremski: Maybe u will have some nice size 11s in ur locker
JAN. 7, 2015
McNally: Remember to put a couple sweet pig skins ready for tom to sign
Jastremski: U got it kid…big autograph day for you
McNally: Nice throw some kicks in and make it real special
Jastremski: It ur lucky. 11?
McNally: 11 or 11 and half kid
That second exchange of texts came three days before the Patriots defeated the Baltimore Ravens in the AFC divisional round. McNally and Jastremski discussed how the upcoming Sunday would be a “big autograph day,” per the report.
“On January 10, 2015,” the report continued, “immediately prior to the game between the Patriots and the Ravens, in the Patriots equipment room with both Brady and Jastremski present, McNally received two footballs autographed by Brady and also had Brady autograph a game-worn Patriots jersey that McNally previously had obtained.”
McNally told investigators the signed jersey now hangs in his home and “claims to have made no efforts to sell the autographed items.”
Jastremski reportedly “also has received various items of value from Brady, including in the months before the AFC Championship Game.” These items included a $1,500 tip during the 2014 holiday season, $500 in cash and gift cards, and two tickets to a Lakers game in Los Angeles, according to Jastremski.
Jastremski also claimed Brady autographed and presented to him “the ball that was used in the game on the play when (Brady) passed” the 50,000-yard mark for his career during an Oct. 8 win over the Cincinnati Bengals.”
That fact was disputed, however, as both a Patriots.com article and a Brady WEEI interview revealed the milestone-setting ball is on display in the Patriots Hall of Fame. Jastremski changed his tune when interviewed by investigators, instead saying the ball he received was used during the game but not on the play in question.
“Although we reach no conclusion on whether the football signed by Brady for Jastremski is the actual football used by Brady to cross the 50,000 yard milestone,” the report read, “it is indisputable that Brady provided Jastremski with a valuable autographed football containing the legend ‘50,000 yards.’ ”
Brady, McNally and Jastremski all could receive league discipline, a source close to the investigation told ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Thumbnail photo via Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports Images Images
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