BOSTON (CBS) – Since the Ted Wells report was made public and the DeflateGate findings were known, those close to Tom Brady have gone on the offensive, including his father, Robert Kraft, his teammates and his agent, Don Yee.
Yee went to bat for his client on Thursday when he released a statement that can best be summarized as utter disappointment.
On Friday afternoon, 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Scott Zolak and Marc Bertrand spoke with Yee to get his thoughts on the report, its flaws and the potential punishment ahead for his client.
One of the things that Yee takes issue with in the Wells Report is the idea that the Patriots quarterback was somehow uncooperative with the investigators, which Yee wholeheartedly denies.
“We were fully cooperative. The meeting lasted essentially an entire day; it was held at Gillette Stadium and there were four attorneys present from the investigative team. I was in the meeting as well with my business partner, as well as a Patriots attorney. The investigators asked questions on every subject contained in the report, and they also spent a considerable amount of time on the text exchanges, including showing Tom transcripts of the text exchanges between the Patriots employees, and between those employees and Tom,” Yee said.
“They queried that [text message] subject very extensively. They were able to observe his body language and draw their own conclusions from that. They asked questions — I believe the meeting lasted five, maybe six hours. It was a long day, for sure. I did not object to a single question and there was no subject that was off limits.”
In Yee’s initial statement, he said the 243-page report omitted key information and testimony from Brady that could have shown the future Hall of Famer in a different light. Yee emphasized that the report states enough about what occurred, but he simply disagrees with the conclusions reached by Wells and his team.
“The Wells investigative team were hired to do a job. They did a job,” Yee told Zolak & Bertrand. “I met with Ted Wells. He’s a fine man, I enjoyed his company that day, I just have a disagreement with the conclusions, and in some aspects of how it was written.”
Yee then went into more detail about which conclusions in particular he disagrees with.
“In every instance where there was a choice between believing the credibility of league officials or Colts officials versus Tom or the Patriots officials, it appeared to me that they chose always to minimize the credibility of the Patriots or Tom,” Yee said. “They’re just doing a job. The report, and the way it was written, that’s how it appeared to me.”
Yee also disagrees with how the relationship between Brady and the Patriots employees, Jim McNally and John Jastremski, was portrayed. The report makes it seem like Brady was bribing them with gifts, including money and memorabilia, in exchange for their handling of the footballs. However, as Scott Zolak has previously noted, “taking care” of the equipment guys is commonplace.
There was also a discussion on the topic of “independent investigation,” of which Yee is dubious.
“I don’t feel it was truly independent. But again, I don’t have any conflict or animus toward Ted’s team or their law firm. They’re a fine law firm, they were just hired to do a job,” Yee said. “But do I believe it was truly independent? I don’t.”
Yee then pointed out the difference between a legal proceeding and an investigation, which is an important distinction as it relates to this instance.
“In a legal proceeding, both sides get to interview each other’s witnesses; there’s cross examination, and that’s how you generally arrive at what is perceived to be the truth. In this situation, I don’t believe that neither the Patriots attorneys [or myself] had any ability to cross examine Ravens officials, Colts officials or NFL officials.”
As far as punishment is concerned, Yee doesn’t believe the report meets the required threshold based on Wells’ “more probably than not” conclusion.
“When the Wells had the chance to sit down and write this report, looking at all the evidence, they could have wrote that they were ‘absolutely certain’ that the Patriots or Tom did something to the balls. They chose not to. They could have written, ‘We are virtually certain.’ They chose not to use those words,” Yee said.
“They could have written, ‘We are substantially certain.’ They didn’t use those words either. They went with ‘more probable than not,’ which is a much lower threshold. I’m hoping when people in the league office read this report they can understand that. I’m sure there’s a lot of discussion going on there, because they have a tough job to do.”
Listen below for the full interview: