In the end, it wasn’t just that someone tinkered with the footballs. It was that the same someone destroyed his new cell phone.
Linking one with the other, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell upheld the four-game suspension of New England quarterback Tom Brady on Tuesday. The question is how severely, if at all, will the cheating allegation affect the legacy of Brady, a four-time Super Bowl champion.
Investigator Ted Wells found enough evidence that Brady had indeed affected the footballs, and his lack of cooperation in the league’s probe evidently contributed toward Brady’s monthlong suspension. For one thing, Brady refused to allow his cell phone to be used as evidence.
Wells said in his report that Brady did not necessarily handle the footballs himself but was at least “generally aware of it.” On Tuesday, Goodell said that Brady had destroyed his four-month- old cell phone. That went beyond not cooperating but sought to hide evidence.
The NFLPA has vowed to fight the suspension, which is the same suspension that Dallas Cowboys defensive end Greg Hardy received for domestic violence. (Hardy’s punishment was reduced from 10 games.)