Report: NFL covered up key Deflategate evidence that favored Pats


If you believe Tom Brady and the New England Patriots got a raw deal in Deflategate, Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio has more evidence to back you up.

Florio shared two notable pieces of reporting from the Deflategate saga that began after the 2014 AFC Championship Game, when ESPN's Chris Mortensen reported that 11 of the Patriots' 12 game footballs were underinflated by at least two pounds each.

Mortensen's report later turned out to be incorrect, and according to Florio, Mortensen got his bad info from NFL executive vice president of football operations Troy Vincent.

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While Florio notes it's "unclear" whether Vincent "deliberately lied" to Mortensen, Vincent was the one who handed out the initial four-game suspension to Brady in May 2015, suggesting a conflict of interest behind NFL walls as it investigated Brady.

More damning for the NFL, however, was Florio's second report: that the NFL "expunged" PSI (pounds per square inch) numbers taken during the 2015 season to determine how footballs gained or lost pressure due to weather.

From Florio:

It was expected that, given the operation of the Ideal Gas Law, the pressure inside the balls would rise on warm days, and that it would fall on cold days. That’s exactly what happened. 

As the source put it, “numerous” measurements made at halftime of games during the 2015 season generated numbers beyond the permitted range of 12.5 to 13.5 psi, with the reading showing a direct correlation between temperature and air pressure.

Those measurements could have been used as evidence that the Patriots' footballs were underinflated due to cold weather in that January 2015 game, and not by any deliberate manipulation.

According to Florio, though, NFL general counsel Jeff Pash issued a "direct order" asking the league to delete those 2015 numbers.

That's certainly not a good look for the NFL, which suspended Brady for four games while docking the Patriots $1 million and two 2016 draft picks as a result of its investigation.

Of course, Brady and the Patriots got the last laugh: The all-world QB led New England to a Super Bowl title in 2016, winning Super Bowl MVP after pulling off the greatest comeback in Super Bowl history against the Atlanta Falcons.

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