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Deflategate: Despite email evidence, Ravens deny tipping off Colts about Patriots

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady rolls out to pass during a divisional playoff game against the Baltimore Ravens on Jan. 10.

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady rolls out to pass during a divisional playoff game against the Baltimore Ravens on Jan. 10.

(Elise Amendola / Associated Press)

The Baltimore Ravens continue to deny that they tipped off the Indianapolis Colts to the New England Patriots’ improper handling of footballs despite newly revealed evidence that seems to suggest otherwise.

“Prior to the AFC Championship game, no one from the Ravens talked to the Colts about deflated footballs. We knew nothing of deflated footballs. John Harbaugh has been consistent in his answers to reporters about this since he was first asked on NBC-TV at the Super Bowl,” the Ravens said Wednesday in a statement.

Baltimore commented again about the Patriots’ underinflated footballs following the release of an email, made public Tuesday as part of the NFL Players’ Assn. lawsuit filed in New York to overturn quarterback Tom Brady’s four-game suspension.

In the email, obtained by the Boston Globe, Colts equipment manager Sean Sullivan tells Indianapolis General Manager Ryan Grigson that a member of the Baltimore coaching staff had reached out to the team.

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“Two concerns came up as of yesterday on footballs at New England. First off the special teams coordinator from the Baltimore Ravens called Coach [Chuck] Pagano and said that they had issues last week at the game that when they were kicking (Baltimore that is) they were given new footballs instead of the ones that were prepared correctly,” Sullivan wrote.

But, he doesn’t stop there, Sullivan then puts Grigson on to a supposedly well-known fact about Brady.

“As far as the gameballs are concerned it is well known around the league that after the Patriots gameballs are checked by the officials and brought out for game usage the ballboys for the patriots will let out some air with a ball needle because their quarterback likes a smaller football so he can grip it better, it would be great is someone would be able to check the air in the game balls as the game goes on so that they don’t get an illegal advantage.”

Ultimately, some balls were found to be below the 12.5-pounds-per-square league mandate and the Patriots were fined $1 million and lost two draft picks, a punishment New England opted not to fight, though Brady continues to deny his involvement in the deflation scheme.

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Follow Matt Wilhalme on Twitter @mattwilhalme


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