The New England Patriots have released e-mail correspondence with the NFL from back in February with regards to the league's leaks to ESPN. I highly recommend reading it because it shows that the league knew exactly how the Patriots would be portrayed in the media and that the NFL had no interest in toning down the inferno that was happening across all mediums.
This is a summary of the communications, for those uninterested in reading.
Patriots to NFL (P2N): Hey Jeff Pash, ESPN received a leak from the NFL that the Patriots tried to introduce unapproved footballs into the kicking game (here's the article in question). You know this is wrong. You also know that the PSI reports are all incorrect, too. This is damaging our brand. Can you please tell the public these are false reports? Or, at least, could you give us the correct PSI measurements and we'll fix the current narrative ourselves?
P2N: Hey, just following up, the ESPN report said they had FOUR sources confirm the story. The Patriots would not confirm that story, so clearly it's coming from the league. Please fix these false reports by the end of the day. Thanks.
NFL to Patriots (N2P): Hey, saw the ESPN report. Don't think the leaks are coming from us. The latest ESPN report isn't about DeflateGate, so we're not going to address it. Thanks.
P2N: Wait, really? Where else would these leaks come from, if not the league? The only people that would know are the league and the Patriots, and it's not the Patriots. At the least, can you not help reporters put our employee's home addresses in print? Why would you not want to correct the misinformation?
N2P: "I have doubts that piecemeal disclosures are likely to accomplish much. If anything, I think they are likely to prompt additional questions, additional stories, and additional irresponsible speculation and commentary...Once the investigation is completed and the facts are known, any incorrect reporting will be shown for what it is." [editor's note: I kid you not, that's a direct quote for why the league wouldn't fix the false reports.]
P2N: But, like, the PSI measurements facts ARE known, why can't we fix the incorrect reporting now? Why is the league okay with the Patriots taking a public beating if the information to stop it is readily available? "Jeff, you need to step up." Please let us know what you're doing to stop the leaks.
N2P: [NFL disconnected from communication]
I really wish I was joking. Read the report and see for yourself. The NFL was clearly doing everything in their power to have the Patriots painted in the worst possible light.