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Key takeaways from Ted Wells report

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  • By Around the NFL staff
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The Wells report was released on Wednesday, and included a mountain of information regarding the Patriots' involvement with the treatment of footballs before the AFC Championship.

We have heard from NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, Patriots owner Robert Kraft, and many players from around the league since the report came out. We will have to wait for potential discipline for Tom Brady and/or the Patriots organization.

In the meantime, you could peruse all 243 pages of the Wells Report. Since most humans don't have time to read through it all, we've gone through and chosen some of the key passages:

» "It is more probable than not that New England Patriots personnel participated in violations of the Playing Rules and were involved in a deliberate effort to circumvent the rules."

» The Wells Report concludes "it is more probable than not that Jim McNally (the Officials Locker Room attendant for the Patriots) and John Jastremski (an equipment assistant for the Patriots) participated in a deliberate effort to release air from Patriots game balls after the balls were examined by the referee."

» "It is more probable than not that Tom Brady (the quarterback for the Patriots) was at least generally aware of the inappropriate activities of McNally and Jastremski involving the release of air from Patriots game balls."

» The kicking ball was a different matter: The Wells Report concludes "that there was no deliberate attempt by the Patriots to introduce to the playing field a non-approved kicking ball during the AFC Championship Game."

» "No other Patriots personnel participated in or had knowledge of the violation of the Playing Rules or the deliberate effort to circumvent the rules described in this Report."

» The Wells Report found no evidence "there was any wrongdoing or knowledge of wrongdoing by Patriots ownership, Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick or any other Patriots coach in the matters investigated. We also do not believe there was any wrongdoing or knowledge of wrongdoing by Patriots Head Equipment Manager Dave Schoenfeld."

» Patriots counsel rejected second interview with McNally despite five written requests to do so.

» McNally took two bags of game balls from Officials Locker Room before start of AFC Championship without receiving permission of referee Walt Anderson. Anderson says that had never happened before in his career.

» Video evidence from pregame of AFC Championship shows McNally detouring to bathroom with two bags of game balls after taking them from officials' dressing room. He remained in bathroom for 1 minute, 40 seconds and then took both bags to field.

» McNally was interviewed by NFL Security after AFC Championship Game. During that interview he never mentioned taking balls into bathroom. Initially, he stated he walked directly to field.

» The Colts notified NFL before AFC Championship Game that they suspected Patriots might be deflating game balls.

» At halftime of AFC Championship Game, two alternate game officials tested 11 Patriots game balls and four Colts game balls.

» The Patriots ball intercepted by the Colts was not among the eleven Patriots balls tested. Each official used a separate air pressure gauge provided by referee Anderson that Anderson had brought with him to the game, one of which also had been used by Anderson for his pre-game inspection. Each of the 11 Patriots balls tested at halftime measured below the minimum 12.5 psi level established by the Playing Rules on both gauges. Each of the four Colts balls tested measured within the permissible 12.5 to 13.5 psi range on at least one of the gauges. The measurements were recorded in writing by Richard Farley, an NFL security official who has been assigned to the Patriots and Gillette Stadium for approximately twelve years. Only four Colts balls were tested because the officials were running out of time before the start of the second half.

» All 11 Patriots balls were inflated back to permissible pressure level. The four Colts balls were not because they were within permissible level.

» Tom Brady appeared for a requested interview and answered questions voluntarily, he declined to make available any documents or electronic information (including text messages and emails) that investigators requested.

» Richard Farley, security rep for the Patriots and the NFL said he has never been in a situation before the AFC Championship Game where the game balls could not be located.

» McNally claimed he stopped in the restroom and used a urinal. Indicated he has used that bathroom near the field entrance while in possession of the game balls "many times." That bathroom has no urinal.

» Colts general manager Ryan Grigson notified after interception that ball was under the psi. He notified NFL officials Troy Vincent and Mike Kensil. Both were already notified about the situation and were headed to the field. Kensil and Vincent had already decided to collect all of the game balls and test them.

» Brady claimed during his interview that he did not know McNally's name or his game-day responsibilities. McNally received two autographed footballs and an autographed jersey from Brady on January 10, 2015. Jastremski received various items of value from Brady during the years including cash tips (common practice), gift cards, memorabilia, etc.

» Tom Brady and Patriots coach Bill Belichick spoke about the issue before a team meeting on January 22. Brady denied knowledge or involvement. Both then addressed team during meeting with Belichick saying there "was not one shred of truth" to the allegations.

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