Patriots Owner Robert Kraft speaks to the media on Monday. Photo by Elsa/Getty Images(NEW YORK) – An attorney hired by the NFL to investigate the Deflate-gate scandal acknowledged on Monday that the investigation would last beyond this Sunday’s Super Bowl.
“We are in the process of conducting a thorough investigation of the issue of the footballs used in the AFC Championship,” Ted Wells said, regarding the game between the New England Patriots and the Indianapolis Colts for which the Patriots allegedly provided 12 footballs, of which 11 were under-inflated by about two pounds per square inch.
“This work began last week, stretched through the weekend, and is proceeding expeditiously this week notwithstanding the Super Bowl.” Wells said he expects his investigation to take “at least several more weeks,” saying that “in the interim, it would be best if everyone involved or potentially involved in this matter avoids public comment concerning the matter until the investigation is concluded.”
Wells also noted that the results of the investigation will be made public.
Patriots quarterback Tom Brady had previously told ESPN that he would not be interviewed regarding the incident until after the Super Bowl. Wells’ comments represent the first confirmation that the investigation wouldn’t be resolved before Sunday, however.
Patriots owner Robert Kraft, however, spoke out on Monday, saying that he had spoken with Brady and head coach Bill Belichick about the matter. Both Brady and Belichick told Kraft that they had no knowledge of what happened. Kraft affirmed his belief in the two men, saying that he “has never known them to lie to him.”
Kraft further expressed disappointment that the “reputations and integrity” of Brady and Belichick — “and by association that of our team” — has been called into question.
“If the Wells investigation is not able to definitively determine that our organization tampered with the air pressure in the footballs,” Kraft said, “I would expect and hope that the league would apologize to our entire team, and in particular to Coach Belichick and Tom Brady, for what they have had to endure this past week.”
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