Maybe Roger Goodell should have read through the transcripts of Tom Brady’s suspension appeal hearing a little closer beforeÂ submitting his decision to uphold the New England Patriots quarterback’s four-game ban.
Goodell stated in his appeal decision last week: “In response to the question, ‘Why were you talking to Mr. (John) Jastremski in those two weeks?,’ Mr. Brady responsed, in sum: ‘I think most of the conversations centered around breaking in the balls.’ ”
Goodell also wrote: “The sharp contrast between the almost complete absence of communications through the AFC Championship Game and the extraordinary volume of communications during the three days following the AFC Championship Game undermines the suggestion that the communications addressed only preparation of footballs for the Super Bowl rather than the tampering allegations and their anticipated responses to inquiries about the tampering.”
Goodell is implying that Brady lied in the June 23 hearing about why he and Jastremski communicated so frequently after the AFC Championship Game. However, Brady readily admitted multiple times in his appeal to Goodell that he and Jastremski could have been discussing the Deflategate allegations against the Patriots and not only football preparation for the Super Bowl.
Check out portions of the transcript when Brady was questioned by NFL Players Association lawyer Jeffrey Kessler during the appeal to Goodell:
“Q. Okay. Now, what did you mean or why were youÂ sending a text to Mr. Jastremski saying, “You areÂ good, Jonny boy?” And then he writes back to you, “StillÂ nervous. So far, so good, though. I will be allÂ right.”Â What do you understand that to be referringÂ to, if you could explain that to the Commissioner?
Brady:Â I wrote, “You good, Jonny boy,” like, youÂ doing okay? Because he was obviously nervous theÂ fact that these allegations were coming out thatÂ they would fall back on him. And I was just, IÂ guess, expressing my concern for him.
Q. Now, you then wrote to him, “You didn’t doÂ anything wrong, bud.”Â Why did you say that? Was that based on yourÂ conversation with him?
Brady:Â Yeah, I said, “You didn’t do anything wrong,Â bud.” That’s how I, you know.
Q. And then he writes back, “I know. I will beÂ all good.”
Q. Did that set of texts refer in any way toÂ your knowing that he had done anything to deflateÂ footballs or anything like that at all?
Also consider these exchanges between Brady and Loren Reisner, a partner of Deflategate investigator Ted Wells:
“Q. And do you recall what you and JohnÂ Jastremski discussed during thatÂ 11-minutes-and-one-second telephone call?
Brady: I don’t remember exactly what we discussed.Â But like I said, there was two things that wereÂ happening. One was the allegations which we wereÂ facing and the second was getting ready for theÂ Super Bowl, which both of those have never happenedÂ before. So me talking to him about those thingsÂ that were unprecedented, you know, he was the personÂ that I would be communicating with.”
“Q. And directing your attention to the bottom ofÂ page 109, there’s a block referring to a textÂ message at 7:27 in the morning on January 21st fromÂ you to John Jastremski.Â It says, “Hey, bud, give me a call when youÂ get a sec.”Â And the report states underneath that, “ForÂ the third straight morning, Jastremski and BradyÂ spoke by phone, this time for 13 minutes and 47Â seconds starting at 7:38 a.m. They spoke again forÂ seven minutes and five seconds at 11:45:16 a.m.”
Do you see that?
Q. Do you have any reason to doubt the timing ofÂ the phone calls referenced in the report?
Q. Do you recall the substance of either ofÂ those two telephone calls referenced in the report?
Brady:Â I don’t remember exactly what we talkedÂ about, but like I said, there were two thingsÂ happening simultaneously and I really wanted JohnÂ focused other than what he needed to getÂ accomplished with the footballs, so I was trying toÂ make sure that he was good and that, you know, heÂ felt responsible for, you know, the attacks.Â And I was trying to make sure that he wasÂ composed so that he could do his job over the courseÂ of the next two weeks.”
“Q. During the telephone calls that you had withÂ John Jastremski on January 19th and 20th and 21stÂ that I asked you about, at that time, you knew thatÂ questions had been raised about the inflation levelsÂ of the footballs used during the AFC ChampionshipÂ Game, correct?
Q. And during these telephone calls withÂ Mr. Jastremski, did you discuss with him the factÂ that questions had been raised about the inflationÂ levels of the footballs?
Brady:Â It’s possible, yes.
Q. And did you discuss with him any concernsÂ that he might have about questions being raised onÂ that topic?
Brady:Â It’s possible, yes.
Q. What do you recall about that, if anything?
Brady:Â Well, that they would be directed at him andÂ that he was the person that prepared the footballsÂ and like I said, the initial report was that none ofÂ the Colts’ balls were deflated, but the Patriots,Â all the Patriots’ balls were.Â So I think trying to figure out what happenedÂ was certainly my concern and trying to figure out,Â you know, what could be — possibly could haveÂ happened to those balls. …
Q. And during the text exchanges referencedÂ there on January 19th, this was around the time thatÂ you were having telephone calls with John JastremskiÂ as well, correct?
Q. And you say that it is possible that you andÂ John Jastremski were discussing the concerns thatÂ had been raised about ball deflation levels, right?
Check out screen shots of Goodell’s response and Brady’s appeal below.
Thumbnail photo viaÂ Joe Camporeale/USA TODAY Sports