The league will also fine the New England Patriots $1 million and strip the franchise of their 2016 first-round pick and 2017 fourth-rounder.
And now NFL has announced it. Tom Brady suspended four games, Patriots fined $1 million, lose two picks.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) May 11, 2015
Last week, Patriots owner and macaroni-and-cheese lover Robert Kraft indicated his team would accept any punishment handed down while also asserting the Pats "had done nothing inappropriate in this process or in violation of the NFL rules."
The team's 2014 second-round pick Jimmy Garoppolo is expected to start in Brady's place should the suspension stand. Brady's first game after that? Against the Indianapolis Colts—the team that first caught on to his alleged preference for soft balls.
Here's an excerpt of NFL executive vice president of football operations Troy Vincent's letter to Brady informing him of the suspension:
With respect to your particular involvement, the report established that there is substantial and credible evidence to conclude you were at least generally aware of the actions of the Patriots’ employees involved in the deflation of the footballs and that it was unlikely that their actions were done without your knowledge. Moreover, the report documents your failure to cooperate fully and candidly with the investigation, including by refusing to produce any relevant electronic evidence (emails, texts, etc.), despite being offered extraordinary safeguards by the investigators to protect unrelated personal information, and by providing testimony that the report concludes was not plausible and contradicted by other evidence.
Your actions as set forth in the report clearly constitute conduct detrimental to the integrity of and public confidence in the game of professional football. The integrity of the game is of paramount importance to everyone in our league, and requires unshakable commitment to fairness and compliance with the playing rules. Each player, no matter how accomplished and otherwise respected, has an obligation to comply with the rules and must be held accountable for his actions when those rules are violated and the public’s confidence in the game is called into question.