Investigator Ted Wells defends his conclusions in Patriots' Deflategate

Attorney Ted Wells vigorously defended his investigation into the New England Patriots and quarterback Tom Brady in Deflategate, findings that led to Brady being suspended for four games and the Patriots being docked a 2016 first-round draft pick, a 2017 fourth-round draft pick and a $1 million fine. "All of this discussion that people at the league office wanted to put some type of hit on the most popular, iconic player in the league, the real face of the league, it just doesn't make any sense," Wells said in a conference call. "It's really a ridiculous allegation. What drove the decision in this report was one thing -- it was the evidence. I could not ethically ignore the import and relevancy of those text messages and the other evidence." Wells referred to locker room official Jim McNally, who's indefinitely suspended, having a text message where he called himself the "deflator," and saying he might go to ESPN as evidence. "No one can ignore the implications of that text message, and no one can see it as a joke," Wells said. "And nor is it circumstantial evidence. It is direct evidence and it is inculpatory." Wells is angry at Brady's agent, Don Yee. "It is wrong to criticize my independence just because you disagree with my findings," Wells said. "In my mind, the NFL certainly wasn't hoping that I would come back with a report that would find that something happened wrong with the Patriots or Tom Brady. They wanted me to get to the bottom of the facts." Wells said there was no sting operation by the NFL. "The Patriots were all over me from day one about why the NFL did not warn them of the complaint and alleging that it was a sting operation," Wells said. Wells said the investigation cost millions of dollars. Wells said that Brady was cooperative, but wouldn't allow his cell phone or information on it to be used. "[Brady] answered every question I put to him. He did not refuse to answer any questions," Well said. "In terms of the back and forth between Mr. Brady and my team, he was totally cooperative. At the same time, he refused to permit us to review electronic data from his telephone or other instruments. Most of the key evidence in this case, as in most cases, come from people's cell phones. "I want to be crystal clear -- I told Mr. Brady and his agents I was willing to not take possession of the phone. I said 'I don't want to see any private information. You keep the phone. You the agent, Mr. Yee, you can look at the phone. You give me documents that are responsive to this investigation and I will take your word that you have given me what's responsive.' And they still refused." Follow me on Twitter: @RavensInsider Aaron Wilson covers the Ravens for The Baltimore Sun
Aaron Wilson
Aaron Wilson covers the NFL for National Football Post, his second stint at the Post. He has previously written for Pro Football Talk and FOX Sports-Scout. Entering his 13th year covering the Baltimore Ravens, he's a beat writer for The Baltimore Sun. Wilson has also covered the Jacksonville Jaguars and Tennessee Titans.

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