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The lawyer hired by the NFL to investigate Deflate-Gate said Tuesday that it’s “ridiculous” to suggest that he and the league were out to get the New England Patriots or Tom Brady.
Ted Wells, who implicated Brady and two Patriots employees in his report last week, defended his inquiry as “fair and reasonable.” He also lashed out at Brady’s agent for calling his integrity into question.
The suggestion that “people at the league office wanted to put some type of hit on the most popular, iconic player in the league — the real face of the league — it just doesn’t make sense,” he said in a conference call with reporters. “It’s a ridiculous allegation.”
Wells ran an investigation for the NFL into bullying by the Miami Dolphins and has represented the league in concussion litigation. He said that he was paid “in the millions of dollars” for his time on Deflate-Gate. But he said he was only out to find the facts.
“I think it is wrong to criticize my independence just because you disagree with my findings,” he told reporters on a conference call.
His report found that Patriots personnel probably let air out of footballs before the AFC championship game and that Brady probably knew about it. On Monday, the NFL suspended Brady for four games, fined the team $1 million and took away two draft picks.
In the conference call, Wells criticized Brady's agent, Don Yee, for not making Brady's cellphone available to investigators. Wells said that he even offered to accept printouts of relevant texts and to take Yee's word for it.
"I think it's disappointing that they would say, on one hand, they're cooperating, and yet refuse to give me access to the electronic data," he said.
He did say that Brady answered every question that investigators asked. But he faulted the Patriots for not making a team employee, Jim McNally, available for a second interview with investigators.
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