New England Patriots Launch Website in Response to Wells Report


May 2, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft in attendance before the welterweight boxing fight between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

If you thought Deflategate was going away soon you were misinformed. The New England Patriots hit back against the Wells Report today by publishing their own response on a new website,

The Patriots’ rebuttal includes pieces of the Wells Report’s executive summary with annotations from Daniel L. Goldberg, team counsel who was present during the interviews of Patriots personnel conducted at Gillette Stadium as part of Ted Wells’ investigation. The team describes its intention as “to provide additional context for balance and consideration”.

The annotations push back on some of the key assertions of the report, particularly the text banter between employees Jim McNally and Jon Jastermski ,which featured prominently in the Wells report and was basically cited as the reasoning for Wells’ conclusion that it was “more probably than not” that the Patriots’ deliberately deflated footballs and that quarterback Tom Brady was “probably generally aware” of the operation.

Perhaps the most compelling part of the Patriots’ rebuttal is the inclusion of a letter from Nobel Laureate Roderick MacKinnon, who expresses his disagreement with the scientific findings of the Wells Report, specifically as it relates to the Ideal Gas Law, which describes the reduction in pressure that should be caused by changes in temperature. The most glaring weakness in the Wells Report, as MacKinnon points out, is the rejection of referee Walt Anderson’s best recollection of the pressure gauge he used to measure the Patriots’ footballs. If you believe Anderson’s recollection, as MacKinnon and others have pointed out, the measurement of the Patriots’ balls falls precisely within the range one would expect given the Ideal Gas Law. If you reject it, however, and use the measurements from the gauge Anderson does not believe he used, the results can make the Patriots look guilty.Why Wells decided to use the measurements from the gauge Anderson does not believe he used is perplexing and has lead many to question his motives in the report.

The Patriots have come a long way since expressing their intent to accept the discipline levied by the league. This website and its contents show that the team is likely to appeal the NFL’s decision, in addition to quarterback Tom Brady’s decision to appeal his suspension.