The New England Patriots employees Jim McNally and John Jastremski were suspended on May 6th over deflate-gate. These two were in charge of inflating Patriots’ footballs to regulation.
According to a report from ESPN’s Adam Schefter, it was actually the NFL’s decision to punish McNally and Jastremski, not the team’s.
“For those asking why Patriots suspended two employees if those two did nothing wrong, as New England claims: NFL asked Pats to suspend them prior to discipline being handed down, per a league source in New York. New England obliged with the NFL’s request.”
This makes what the NFL said in a statement about the punishments unclear, writes Business Insider.
“Patriots owner Robert Kraft advised Commissioner Roger Goodell last week that Patriots employees John Jastremski and James McNally have been indefinitely suspended without pay by the club, effective on May 6th,” the statement read.
That seems to imply that the team suspended the two. But note the language — it only says that Kraft told Goodell that they had been suspended, not that he had ordered it, according to Business Insider.
If ESPN’s report is to be believed, it gives the Patriots’ denials a little more weight because the team never actually felt the need to punish McNally and Jastremski.
It’s also worth noting that ESPN’s information comes from a “league source in New York,” not from someone within the Patriots who wants to make them look innocent.
It also makes things messy. The NFL released the Wells report on May 6 but waited until May 11 to punish the team and Brady. Yet according to the league’s statement, McNally and Jastremski were punished on May 6.
Business Insider asks: If that decision was the NFL’s, why did they hand down discipline for the two employees immediately but wait nearly a week to go after the team and Brady? And why did the Patriots comply?