Team Brady balks at NFL 'Deflategate' probe, awaits sanctions
By Ted Siefer
SALEM, Massachusetts (Reuters) - The team behind Tom Brady ran defense for the star quarterback on Thursday after a report found he likely knew footballs were deflated to the New England Patriots' advantage in a scandal that could lead to a multigame suspension and a tainted legacy.
As Brady's agent issued a stinging rebuke of the findings, the National Football League clammed up the day after releasing the 243-page "Deflategate" report, refusing to give a timetable or range on possible sanctions against Brady or the Patriots.
Meanwhile, Brady said, "No, absolutely not," when asked if "Deflategate" tainted the team's 28-24 victory over the Seattle Seahawks in the Super Bowl.
The four-time Super Bowl winner and three-time Super Bowl Most Valuable Player was muted in his remarks Thursday night in a previously scheduled speech at Salem State University north of Boston.
Brady said "hopefully soon" when asked when he would discuss the matter publicly.
"There is still a process that is going forth right now and I am involved in that process," he said. "Whenever that happens, it happens. I certainly want to be very comfortable in how I feel about the statements that I make."
The report brought the obscure subject of deflating footballs out of the sports realm as the accusations dogged Brady, one of the most prominent sport stars in the United States, and the Patriots, one of the NFL's top teams over the last 20 years.
Ted Wells, an attorney hired by the NFL to investigate the allegations, said in his report the Patriots probably deliberately deflated footballs in their 45-7 win over the Indianapolis Colts on Jan. 18 in the AFC championship game that put them in the 2015 Super Bowl. Continued...