How's this for "independent"? According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, on WEEI's Dennis & Callahan show, "Roger Goodell has paid Ted Wells' law firm over $45 million in two investigations."
Those two investigations include the bullying scandal out of Miami and now the manufactured scandal with the Patriots. It is uncertain how much Wells' camp has made by representing the league in their concussion lawsuits. Questions about Wells' independence sparked Wells to make a public announcement.
"The conclusions in the report represent the independent opinions of me personally and my team," Wells stated in a press conference soon after the release of his report. "And those conclusions were not influenced in any way, shape, or form by anyone at the league office."
The press conference continued with the following line of questioning:
Q: I'm curious when you guys do investigations like this are you billing by the hour or is it a flat rate?
Wells: I bill by the hour. All cases.
Q: Any chance you could say what the hours were for this or how much was finally charged for the whole report?
Wells: I don't know off the top of my head but there's no question its millions of dollars.
Q: Any chance you could go a little more specific than that?
Moderator: Not necessary. Next question.
It seems rather unlikely for someone who receives funding from a client to remain fully impartial in their findings- that's just natural- and when the dollars rise to over $45 million, that impartiality deserves to be under greater scrutiny.