The New England Patriots fired back at the National Football League on Thursday, releasing a lengthy response saying the conclusions of the Wells Report are "at best, incomplete, incorrect and lack context."
[CLICK HERE to read the full Patriots response to the Wells Report.]
"The Wells Report in Context," written Patriots lawyer Daniel L. Goldberg, who represented the team and was present at all interviews of Patriots personnel conducted at Gillette Stadium, attempts to provide detailed context of the Wells Report, which led the NFL to suspend quarterback Tom Brady for four games, levy a $1 million fine and strip the team of two draft picks.
"The conclusions of the Wells Report are, at best, incomplete, incorrect and lack context," the document states. "The Report dismisses the scientific explanation for the natural loss of psi of the Patriots footballs by inexplicably rejecting the Referee's recollection of what gauge he used in his pregame inspection. Texts acknowledged to be attempts at humor and exaggeration are nevertheless interpreted as a plot to improperly deflate footballs, even though none of them refer to any such plot.
"There is no evidence that Tom Brady preferred footballs that were lower than 12.5 psi and no evidence anyone even thought that he did. All the extensive evidence which contradicts how the texts are interpreted by the investigators is simply dismissed as 'not plausible.' Inconsistencies in logic and evidence are ignored."
The goal of the document, the team says, is to "provide additional context for balance and consideration."
In addition to taking issue with the reported psi levels of the footballs, the team says the NFL "had already prejudged" the issues before Ted Wells was hired to look into the matter. "The Wells investigators, then, were hired by the League to investigate an issue that the League had already prejudged."
The team says increased communications between Brady and Patriots equipment assistant John Jastremski after the AFC Championship Game "do not make it more likely than not that there was any wrongdoing or knowledge of wrongdoing. They are totally consistent with complete innocence. It is only speculation to conclude otherwise."
Also defended is Brady's refusal to turn over his cell phone, as the team says the league already had all of Jastremski's texts with Brady, along with phone records from Patriots locker room attendant James McNally.
"Given the fact that Mr. Jastremski and Mr. McNally had both turned over their phone records, no adverse inferences should be drawn from the fact that Mr. Brady did not make his phone or its contents available."