Sports Now

Tom Brady's agent slams NFL, Wells report for Deflategate findings

Don Yee, Patriots QB Tom Brady's agent, says Wells report 'is a significant and terrible disappointment'

Tom Brady's agent had some pretty strong words for independent investigator Ted Wells and the NFL on the day after the release of Wells' report implicating the New England Patriots quarterback and two others in the Deflategate scandal from earlier this year.

In a statement released Thursday morning, Don Yee called the report "a significant and terrible disappointment," saying it omits "key facts and lines of inquiry" -- including almost all of Brady's testimony from a day-long interview with the investigators -- and that "much of the report’s vulnerabilities are buried in the footnotes."

"For reasons unknown, the Wells report omitted nearly all of Tom’s testimony, most of which was critical because it would have provided this report with the context that it lacks," Yee wrote. "Mr. Wells promised back in January to share the results of this investigation publicly, so why not follow through and make public all of the information gathered and let the public draw its own conclusions?"

The Wells report, which came out Wednesday after nearly four months of interviews as well as a review of texts and security camera footage, stated that it was “more probable than not” that two Patriots employees were involved in a deliberate effort to break the rules and Brady “was at least generally aware of the inappropriate activities.”

Brady has yet to comment publicly on the report. He is slated to be interviewed by reporter Jim Gray on Thursday night in a previously scheduled event at Salem State University.

Yee pointed out in his statement that the NFL "is a significant client of the investigators' law firm," which leads him to the conclusion that "this was not an independent investigation and the contents of the report bear that out.

"This report contains significant and tragic flaws, and it is common knowledge in the legal industry that reports like this generally are written for the benefit of the purchaser," Yee wrote.

He also accused the league of "perpetuating a sting operation" against the Patriots after being tipped off by the Indianapolis Colts before the AFC championship that New England may try to use underinflated balls.

Here is Yee's statement in its entirety:

"The Wells report, with all due respect, is a significant and terrible disappointment. Its omission of key facts and lines of inquiry suggest the investigators reached a conclusion first, and then determined so-called facts later. One item alone taints this entire report. What does it say about the league office’s protocols and ethics when it allows one team to tip it off to an issue prior to a championship game, and no league officials or game officials notified the Patriots of the same issue prior to the game? This suggests it may be more probable than not that the league cooperated with the Colts in perpetrating a sting operation. The Wells report buries this issue in a footnote on page 46 without any further elaboration. The league is a significant client of the investigators' law firm; it appears to be a rich source of billings and media exposure based on content in the law firm's website. This was not an independent investigation and the contents of the report bear that out – all one has to do is read closely and critically, as opposed to simply reading headlines. The investigators' assumptions and inferences are easily debunked or subject to multiple interpretations. Much of the report’s vulnerabilities are buried in the footnotes, which is a common legal writing tactic. It is a sad day for the league as it has abdicated the resolution of football-specific issues to people who don’t understand the context or culture of the sport. I was physically present for my client’s interview. I have verbatim notes of the interview. Tom made himself available for nearly an entire day and patiently answered every question. It was clear to me the investigators had limited understanding of professional football. For reasons unknown, the Wells report omitted nearly all of Tom’s testimony, most of which was critical because it would have provided this report with the context that it lacks. Mr. Wells promised back in January to share the results of this investigation publicly, so why not follow through and make public all of the information gathered and let the public draw its own conclusions? This report contains significant and tragic flaws, and it is common knowledge in the legal industry that reports like this generally are written for the benefit of the purchaser." 

Twitter: @chewkiii

Copyright © 2016, Los Angeles Times

UPDATE

12:12 p.m.: This post was updated with the information that Brady is scheduled to appear at Salem State on Thursday night.

This post was originally published at 7:57 a.m.

82°