It is “more probable than not’’ that quarterback Tom Brady was aware of apparent tampering by a pair of team equipment managers, according to the Deflategate report released Wednesday.
The report calls into question Brady’s initial denials that he deflated footballs or knew of team personnel doing so.
“I didn’t alter the ball in any way,’’ Brady said at a Jan. 22 news conference after the allegations first surfaced.
That may be true, the report found, but others may have altered the balls he used – and he likely knew it.
“We believe it is unlikely that an equipment assistant and a locker room attendant would deflate game balls without Brady’s knowledge and approval,’’ the 243-page report by investigator Ted Wells says.
Timeline of Deflategate Controversy
The report also states: “Based on the evidence, we also have concluded that it is more probable than not that Tom Brady was at least generally aware of the inappropriate activities of [Patriots locker room attendant Jim] McNally and [Patriots equipment assistant John] Jastremski involving the release of air from Patriots game balls.’’
The report says Brady agreed to interviews but denied a request by investigators to share text messages and emails “even though those requests were limited to the subject matter of our investigation.’’ The sought communications included “messages concerning the preparation of game balls, air pressure of balls, inflation of balls or deflation of balls,’’ the report said.
The report also includes a series of texts between McNally and Jastremski that investigators say show Brady knew about Deflategate.