>>Goodell Upholds Brady Ban
The commissioner pointed to concealed evidence. The team described it as a folly. And the agent added sham to the lexicon of "Deflategate."
Then the players' union said it would take it all to court.
Tom Brady's four-game suspension for his role in using underinflated footballs during the AFC championship game was upheld Tuesday by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.
Goodell said the New England quarterback told an assistant to destroy Brady's cellphone on or just before March 6. Brady met with independent investigator Ted Wells on that day.
Calling the appeal process "a sham," Brady's agent, Don Yee, said Goodell "failed to ensure a fair process" in upholding the quarterback's four-game suspension.
The Patriots used the words "folly" and "incomprehensible" in their statement, then said they "unequivocally believe in and support Tom Brady."
Brady acknowledged in his testimony he was aware of investigators' request for information from the cellphone before he had it destroyed, the appeal decision said.
After releasing the report in May, Wells said he had told Brady and Yee he did not need to see his phone and would have accepted a list of communications.
Wells' investigation had no subpoena power and Brady was under no legal obligation to cooperate.
The NFL had some messages from Brady sent to an equipment manager's phone, but investigators wanted to see if Brady's cellphone had other messages related to footballs.
The four-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback was suspended by NFL executive Troy Vincent in May following the Wells report. The Patriots were fined $1 million and docked a pair of draft picks. The team didn't appeal its penalty, but Brady appealed.
The NFL Players Association said in a statement on Tuesday that it would appeal in court.
>>Steelers RB Bell Has Suspension Reduced
Le'Veon Bell will head back to work a little earlier than the NFL originally planned.
The league reduced the suspension against the Pittsburgh Steelers All-Pro running back from three games to two on Tuesday, leaving him eligible to play when the Steelers travel to St. Louis on Sept. 27.
The league initially suspended Bell for the first three games of the 2015 season as part of the fallout from his arrest in August 2014 on DUI and drug charges.
The announcement came the same day the league upheld a four-game suspension against New England quarterback Tom Brady for his role in using underinflated footballs during the AFC championship win over Indianapolis
Bell was arrested last August following a traffic stop along with then-teammate LeGarrette Blount. The 23-year-old All-Pro ended up pleading no contest and was sentenced to 15 months of probation and entered into a diversion program.
"Whatever the consequence is, I'm just going to take it and move forward," Bell said on Saturday as the Steelers arrived for training camp.
Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert reiterated the team's disappointment in Bell's actions, but is optimistic Bell will avoid trouble in the future.
>>Jets Star To Report To Camp Despite Dispute
Big Mo will show for training camp.
New York Jets defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson will report to the practice facility on Wednesday with the rest of his teammates despite being unhappy with his contract, according to a person familiar with his plans.
Wilkerson reported for mandatory minicamp last month, but was non-committal about showing for training camp.
"I'm not answering that question," Wilkerson said bluntly last month when asked if he would entertain thoughts of holding out of camp.
He stayed away from the team's facility during voluntary workouts and practices earlier in the offseason while looking for a long-term deal. Wilkerson, one of the key parts of new coach Todd Bowles' defense, is in the last year of his rookie contract and is due to make $6.97 million this season.
"I'm frustrated, yeah," Wilkerson said last month. "I thought that a deal would be made, but at the end of the day, it's a business. These things take time."
The Jets report for camp Wednesday at their facility in Florham Park, New Jersey.
Wilkerson's decision is not surprising, considering he stood to lose $30,000 per day of camp he skipped, per the league's collective bargaining agreement.