Tom Brady may not have had much to say about Deflategate on Thursday, but his agent sure did.
After releasing an angry statement blasting the report by investigator Ted Wells, who implicated Brady in the New England Patriots' underinflated-ball scandal, Don Yee continued to publicly defend his client in interviews later the same day.
In a telephone interview with CNN's Anderson Cooper and Rachel Nichols, Yee gave a lengthy explanation as to why Brady did not cooperate with the investigation by providing the requested text messages and emails:
"Without really getting into my communications with my client — I have to observe attorney-client privilege — but if you’re in a situation when it comes to disciplinary process when you’re generally assigned guilt and asked to prove innocence, that’s No. 1. Proving innocence is essentially proving a negative, if you proclaim innocence. And so that’s a very difficult situation to put yourself in.
“Second, with the text messages, the scope that they asked for is actually very, very wide. I probably should have made the letter public that we received from the NFL’s lawyers. But in any event, if we would have provided the phone or the text messages — you have to understand Tom is also a member of the union, the Commissioner’s office actually does not have any subpoena power. If a prominent player were to provide all of their private communications absent a subpoena, that sets a dangerous precedent for all players facing disciplinary measures.
“Finally, any information we would have provided, and the Wells investigative team did ask us to go through Tom’s phone on our own and provide them with information if we chose to go that route. But as you might surmise, if we would have chosen to go that route, any information we would have given them, they probably would have had skepticism about anyway. So what it came down to is either way you turned, you're really not playing on a level playing field."
Earlier in the day, Yee said on NPR's "All Things Considered" of the Wells report: "I do think there was some malice intended toward Tom and the organization. I don't know if the malice was intentional. They've been winning for a long time, as we know. ...and I've always told my friends who inquire about the NFL, I tell them there is no jealousy or envy like NFL jealousy or envy."
Brady himself declined to talk about the specifics of the Wells report during a speaking appearance Thursday night at Salem State University in Massachusetts, telling moderator Jim Gray: "There's still a process that's going forth right now, and I'm involved in that process. Whenever it happens, it happens. I'll certainly want to be very comfortable in how I feel about the statements that I make."