The National Football League suspended New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady for four regular season games without pay “for conduct detrimental to the integrity of the NFL,” the league announced Monday afternoon.
The league also announced that the team—which won the Super Bowl earlier this year—would be fined $1 million and forced to forfeit its first-round pick in the 2016 draft and its fourth-round selection in the 2017 draft. …
The Monday release said that Patriots owner Robert Kraft told NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell last week that two Patriots employees had been indefinitely suspended without pay. The league said that neither man could be reinstated without permission.
In a letter to the Patriots, NFL Executive President Troy Vincent wrote that an investigation had found “the footballs used by the Patriots were inflated at a level that did not satisfy the standard set forth in the NFL’s Official Playing Rules and that the condition of the footballs was the result of deliberate actions by employees of the Patriots.”
Vincent said in his letter that the Patriots’ employees’ actions were documented in text messages and telephone communications.