2015 Super Bowl champions will start their upcoming season without their franchise quarterback. The NFL announced on Monday that Tom Brady has been suspended without pay for four games for violating an NFL policy.
In addition to the suspension, the team will be fined $1 million and will forfeit their 2016 first round pick and 2017 fourth-round pick in the NFL Draft. The punishments come right after an independent investigation by Ted Wells. In the investigation Wells found that it was "more probable than not" that Tom Brady was "at least generally aware of the inappropriate activities," in regards to the deflation of Patriots game balls during the 2015 Super Bowl.
According to NFL.com, Commissioner Roger Goodell authorized the punishments.
"With respect to your particular involvement, the report established that there is substantial and credible evidence to conclude you were at least generally aware of the actions of the Patriots' employees involved in the deflation of the footballs and that it was unlikely that their actions were done without your knowledge," Vincent wrote in a letter to Brady. "Moreover, the report documents your failure to cooperate fully and candidly with the investigation, including by refusing to produce any relevant electronic evidence (emails, texts, etc.), despite being offered extraordinary safeguards by the investigators to protect unrelated personal information, and by providing testimony that the report concludes was not plausible and contradicted by other evidence."