According to the recently released book, “12: The Inside Story of Tom Brady's Fight For Redemption”—co-authored by Casey Sherman and Dave Wedge—New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady could have escaped his four-game suspension for Deflategate.
The book claims that Brady could have avoided the suspension—which he served during the first four games of the 2016 season after initially winning his appeal before the 2015 campaign—had he paid a $1 million fine to the league and publicly blamed team equipment staffers, John Jastremski and Jim McNally, for altering the footballs. Brady declined, refusing to throw Jastremski and McNally under the bus, as the legendary QB showed his loyalty for the team extends beyond just teammates, ownership and coaching staff.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell proposed this offer to Brady, according to the book.
[Goodell] demanded that Brady state publicly that former Patriots equipment guys [John] Jastremski and [Jim] McNally had purposely tampered with footballs, even without [Brady’s] knowledge.
Brady turned down this deal from Goodell because he believed the staffers were innocent.
“There’s no way I’m gonna ruin these guys for something I believe they didn’t do,” Brady told NFL Players Association head DeMaurice Smith.
Refusing to denounce the equipment staffers, Brady was forced to sit the first four contests of the 2016 season. The Patriots went 3-1 without Brady, though, led by former quarterbacks Jimmy Garoppolo and Jacoby Brisett.
Brady dominated in his return to action, throwing 28 touchdowns with just two interceptions—posting the greatest TD-to-interception ratio in NFL history. Despite missing 25 percent of the season due to suspension, he managed to finish second in MVP voting. Matt Ryan won the award, but his Atlanta Falcons lost to the Patriots in Super Bowl LI as Brady won his fifth Super Bowl title.