Less than a week after the Wells Report was released summarizing the investigation into the Patriots alleged use of underinflated footballs in last January's AFC title game against the Colts, the NFL issued a swift and harsh punishment in the case.
Shortly before 6 p.m. Monday night the NFL announced that it was suspending Tom Brady without pay for the first four games of the 2015 season, fining the New England organization $1 million and taking away the team's 2016 first-round draft pick as well as its 2017 fourth-round draft pick.
The league's statement making the announcement said the punishment is "for violations of the NFL Policy on Integrity of the Game and Enforcement of Competitive Rules relating to the use of under-inflated footballs in the AFC Championship Game of this past season."
The specific team fine and draft pick sanctions come due to "violation of the playing rules and the failure to cooperate in the subsequent investigation."
The discipline was handed down by NFL Executive President Troy Vincent and authorized by Commissioner Roger Goodell.