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NFL's Goodell Confirms Tom Brady's 4-Game Suspension

Saying that New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady "was aware of, and took steps to support, the actions of other team employees to deflate game footballs" below required levels, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has upheld the punishment.

In doing so, Goodell also faulted Brady for not cooperating with the investigation, citing his "destruction of potentially relevant evidence" — a reference to Brady's cellphone and SIM card, which he gave to an assistant to be destroyed, according to Goodell's findings.

"The destruction of the cell phone was not disclosed until June 18, almost four months after the investigators had first sought electronic information from Brady," reads a statement on the matter published by NFL.com's Rand Getlin.

Brady was suspended in May over the scandal that has also cost the Patriots franchise $1 million and two draft picks. The quarterback then lodged an appeal through the NFL Players Association, which said it was acting "Given the NFL's history of inconsistency and arbitrary decisions in disciplinary matters."

Despite the uproar over "Deflategate" growing in the last two weeks of the NFL's postseason, Brady and the Patriots won the Super Bowl. They did so after dispatching the Indianapolis Colts in the AFC Championship Game — but officials determined that there wasn't enough air in some of the balls used in that game, played in the Patriots' home stadium.

The suspension followed the 243-page Wells Report, named after the attorney, Ted Wells, whom the NFL asked to look into the allegations.

The Wells Report identified two Patriots employees — equipment assistant John Jastremski and officials locker room attendant Jim McNally — as playing pivotal roles in deflating footballs to make them easier to grip.

Transcripts of messages between the two workers referred to Brady by name, and spoke of both meeting with and receiving gifts from him. And Goodell

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