The NFL announced, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady has been suspended the first four games of the 2015 NFL season without pay for his involvement of tampering with footballs in the AFC Championship Game.
The Patriots also lose a 2016 first-round pick, a 2017 fourth-round pick and $1 million in fines, which is the largest team fine in NFL history. If the Patriots end up having more than one pick in either of these rounds, the team will lose the higher selection in each round.
Ted Wells found that the Patriots used footballs in the AFC Championship Game that did not satisfy the standard set forth in the NFL's Official Playing Rules, in his independent investigation.
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Brady, who grew up in San Mateo and attended Junipero Serra High School, will appeal the suspension according to his agent, Don Yee.
In a statement, Yee said, "We will appeal, and if the hearing officer is completely independent and neutral, I am very confident the Wells Report will be exposed as an incredibly frail exercise in fact-finding logic. The NFL has a well-documented history of making poor disciplinary decisions that often are overturned when truly independent and neutral judges or arbitrators preside, and a former federal judge has found the commissioner has abused his discretion in the past, so this outcome does not surprise me." Brady has three days to appeal his suspension.
Brady will miss games vs. the Pittsburgh Steelers, Buffalo Bills, Jacksonville Jaguars, and Dallas Cowboys. Unless Brady's suspension is shortened or overturned, he is set to return on Week 6 vs. the Indianapolis Colts -- whom he defeated in the AFC Championship -- in Indianapolis.
The Patriots beat the Colts in the AFC Champiosnhip Game, 45-7.