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DeflateGate: NFL Officials Admit History of Football Air Leakage

One of the NFL's top officiating executives admit that there has been a history of air leaking out of footballs.

Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

This is getting to a point where every release of new information surrounding DeflateGate shows how much of hatchet job this investigation actually was.

First, it was the recollection that Chris Mortensen told WEEI that multiple sources confirmed his initial false report that 11 of 12 footballs were underinflated by 2 PSI. This implies a calculated front from the league to portray the Patriots in a certain fashion with the media.

Then, the Patriots released email correspondence with the league, where the NFL actively prevented the public from learning facts that would correct the false reports from ESPN. This implies that the league was absolutely okay with the Patriots getting raked over the coals for something that was known to be false.

This information, combined with all of the other obvious defects in the Wells Report, is enough to make any independent party laugh in the face of the league.

So how about someone who is a major face in the league's operations office that admits that the league has had issues with ball inflation in the past?

Mark Kaboly of TribLive spoke with Central Region supervisor of officials Gary Slaughter, who said the very same.

There have been issues with inflation of footballs in the past.

"These are man-made products," Slaughter said. "There is a bladder and a valve. We have all checked them for many years. Sometimes when you check the ball in the locker room right out of the box, there could be a problem. They could have a slow leak, and you wouldn't even know it at the time."

Slaughter is the NFL's Central Region Supervisor of Officials and is a full-time staff member in charge of creating training videos for Line of Scrimmage officials. He is one of the most senior ranking members of the NFL's Officiating Department.

As I've always said, the only reasonable resolution from the Wells Report investigation is that the officials never had a set process for measuring and handling footballs, and that the officials should've been the focus of any penalties or changes.

Now it would seem that Ted Wells managed to ignore this "footballs can leak and you wouldn't even know it" fact when he spoke with officials, or that the officials never offered this fact in the investigation. Either way, it's not the Patriots that should be penalized for the league or the official's inability to conduct a proper and impartial investigation.