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'Help The Deflator': Patriots Staffers Texted About Tom Brady And Altering Footballs, Report Finds

Tom Brady thew two fourth-quarter touchdown passes to put the Patriots ahead 28-14 . (David Goldman/AP)
Tom Brady thew two fourth-quarter touchdown passes to put the Patriots ahead 28-14 . (David Goldman/AP)
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A series of eye-opening text messages between two Patriots staffers are part of a lengthy NFL report on "Deflategate," released Wednesday, that found the team likely deflated game footballs before the AFC Championship.

The text messages (see below) between locker room attendant Jim McNally and equipment assistant John Jastremski are just a segment of the 243-page report, but together the texts are perhaps the strongest part of Ted Wells' case that the balls were deliberately deflated — and that quarterback Tom Brady was likely "at least generally aware" of it.

In the texts, according to the report, Brady is referenced a number of times as McNally and Jastremski discuss the inflation level of game balls, Brady's unhappiness with the inflation level, Jastremski's plan to provide McNally with a needle for the balls and McNally's requests for cash and sneakers together with the needle to be provided by Jastremski.

In addition to the text messages, the report also notes that Brady and Jastremski  -- after not communicating by phone for more than six months — spoke by phone multiple times in the days immediately after suspicions of ball tampering became public on Jan. 19.

Brady hasn't yet addressed the report. But in a press conference on Jan. 22, he said: "I have no knowledge of anything, any wrongdoing."

Patriots owner Robert Kraft issued a lengthy statement Wednesday, defending his team and his players. He said he's "disappointed" in the report's findings.

Here are the text messages from the report:

For example, on October 17, 2014, following a Thursday night game between the Patriots and the New York Jets during which Tom Brady complained angrily about the inflation level of the game balls, McNally and Jastremski exchanged the following text messages:

McNally: Tom sucks...im going make that next ball a f------ balloon

Jastremski: Talked to him last night. He actually brought you up and said you must have a lot of stress trying to get them done...

Jastremski: I told him it was. He was right though...

Jastremski: I checked some of the balls this morn... The refs f----- us...a few of then were at almost 16

Jastremski: They didnt recheck then after they put air in them

McNally: f--- tom ...16 is nothing...wait till next sunday

Jastremski: Omg! Spaz


On October 21, 2014, McNally and Jastremski exchanged the following text messages:

McNally: Make sure you blow up the ball to look like a rugby ball so tom can get used to it before sunday

Jastremski: Omg


On October 23, 2014, three days before a Sunday game against the Chicago Bears, Jastremski and McNally exchanged the following messages:

Jastremski: Can‟t wait to give you your needle this week :)

McNally: f--- tom....make sure the pump is attached to the needle.....f----- watermelons coming

Jastremski: So angry

McNally: The only thing deflating sun..is his passing rating


The next day, October 24, 2014, Jastremski and McNally exchanged the following messages:

Jastremski: I have a big needle for u this week

McNally: Better be surrounded by cash and newkicks....or its a rugby sunday

McNally: f--- tom

Jastremski: Maybe u will have some nice size 11s in ur locker

McNally: Tom must really be working your balls hard this week


On October 25, 2014, McNally and Jastremski exchanged the following text messages:

Jastremski: Size 11?

Jastremski: 2 or 3X?

McNally: Tom must really be on you

McNally: 11 0r 11 half......2x unless its tight fitting

Jastremski: Nah. Hasn‟t even mentioned it, figured u should get something since he gives u nothing


On January 7, 2015, eleven days before the AFC Championship Game, McNally and Jastremski discussed how McNally would have a “big autograph day” and receive items autographed by Brady the following weekend, before the playoff game against the Baltimore Ravens. McNally and Jastremski exchanged the following text messages:

McNally: Remember to put a couple sweet pig skins ready for tom to sign

Jastremski: U got it kid...big autograph day for you

McNally: Nice throw some kicks in and make it real special

Jastremski: It ur lucky. 11?

McNally: 11 or 11 and half kid


On January 10, 2015, immediately prior to the game between the Patriots and the Ravens, in the Patriots equipment room with both Brady and Jastremski present, McNally received two footballs autographed by Brady and also had Brady autograph a game-worn Patriots jersey that McNally previously had obtained.

In addition to the messages described above, before the start of the 2014-15 season, McNally referred to himself as “the deflator” and stated that he was “not going to espn……..yet.” On May 9, 2014, McNally and Jastremski exchanged the following text messages:

McNally: You working

Jastremski: Yup

McNally: Nice dude....jimmy needs some kicks....lets make a deal.....come on help the deflator

McNally: Chill buddy im just f----- with you ....im not going to espn........yet

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Zeninjor Enwemeka Twitter Reporter
Zeninjor Enwemeka is a reporter who covers business, tech and culture as part of WBUR's Bostonomix team, which focuses on the innovation economy.

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