Tom Brady's lawyer on Thursday morning responded forcefully to an NFL report that found the Patriots likely deflated footballs in the AFC Championship game and that the star quarterback was probably "at least generally aware" of the violations.
"The [so-called] Wells report, with all due respect, is a significant and terrible disappointment," Brady's lawyer, Don Yee, said in a statement.
Yee said the 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." He said the testimony was omitted "for reasons unknown."
The report, out Wednesday, has led to discussion about a tainted legacy for Brady and the Pats, who won their fourth Super Bowl earlier this year.
In a statement of his own Wednesday, Robert Kraft, the team owner, similarly said he was "disappointed" in the report.
Here's Yee's full statement:
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.