Like many other facts surrounding the Deflategate fiasco, the fate of two Patriots staffers, John Jastremski and Jim McNally, is surrounded by a mist of NFL misdirection and lies. Jim McNally, the man who called himself "Deflator" in a single text message 5 months before last season began, was accused of sneaking into a bathroom on the way to the field and removing approximately 0.2 PSI from 12 footballs before the AFCCG with the Colts. John Jastremski, who was called "Dorito Dink" in a text, was accused of conspiring with McNally and providing him with a needle necessary to do his dastardly deed. Despite the allegations, the Wells Report only conclusively determines one man illegally stuck a needle in a football, and he was employed by the Colts.
The question continues, if the Patriots were innocent, why did they fire their staffers? The Patriots answer that they were requested by the NFL to fire them, and they complied. As reported by Adam Schefter:
"Everybody says well if they did nothing wrong, then why are the Patriots suspending them and here is the deal behind that: Essentially, the NFL called the Patriots prior to the discipline being handed down and basically explained to the Patriots that in the best interest of the league the smart thing to do would be to suspend those two employees. New England went along with it," Schefter said. "New England thought it was acting at that time, prior to the discipline, in the best interest of the league and so they went along with the league’s request to suspend both of those individuals. That essentially came from the NFL, not the Patriots. That is how it came down. That is how those two got suspended and that is the answer to the questions that people have asked as to why McNally and Jastremski have been suspended if they’ve done nothing wrong."
As evidence, the Patriots aren't allowed to reinstate their employees without permission from the NFL Vice President of Operations, Troy Vincent. Of course, there are also conditions:
If they are reinstated by the Patriots, Jastremski is prohibited from having any role in the preparation, supervision, or handling of footballs to be used in NFL games during the 2015 season. McNally is barred from serving as a locker room attendant for the game officials, or having any involvement with the preparation, supervision, or handling of footballs or any other equipment on game day.
In other words, the Patriots can't simply reinstate their employees, the NFL must approve it. Why would the NFL need to approve it, if the NFL had nothing to to do with firing the employees in the first place? This is not the usual path in the NFL for team issued discipline. When asked whether the NFL had any say in removing the employees, y, Roger Goodell said, "Absolutely not. That was a decision by the Patriots." Of course, it is now well documented that Roger Goodell lied in his role as an arbitrator, so anything he says should be taken with a grain of salt at this point.
For the Patriots part, they requested that the NFL reinstate Jastremski and McNally subject to the limitations that NFL Vice President of Operations Troy Vincent laid out. In fact, they made the request several times, and Troy Vincent said he never got the message.
A8) We have not heard from the Patriots in regards to their 2 employees #TV23chat— Troy Vincent (@TroyVincent23) September 7, 2015
Hello. Hello. Hello, Is there anybody in there? Just nod if you can hear me. Is there anyone home?
Which seems appropriate because the NFL front office seems happy being comfortably dumb. Finally after several days with their fax machine unplugged, the NFL seems to have gotten the message.
Patriots asked NFL to reinstate Jastremski, McNally multiple times since Monday. NFL finally replied today http://t.co/jxdG9gGi6u— Jeff Howe (@jeffphowe) September 9, 2015
So now the Patriots and their two potty-mouthed ex-employees sit and wait while the NFL decides their fate. Because, the Patriots, you know, fired them all on their own, and they wouldn't have done that if they were innocent. So, yeah, the Patriots shouldn't want them back. Except that they do. Just stay tuned to the NFL Ministry of Truth, ESPN, for further updates on the current direction the NFL front office is blowing.
One thing's for sure though, the wheels of justice in the NFL front office are swift. It doesn't take them weeks to begin an investigation, months to conduct an investigation, weeks to hear an appeal, and more weeks to decide the appeal. They should make a decision by October ... of 2032.
UPDATE 9/10/2015 (thanks to MDV123 for the heads up):
Adam Schefter went on Mike and Mike and confirmed that despite what Roger Goodell said, the NFL absolutely asked the Patriots to fire Jastremski and McNally. According to Schefter:
It’s odd to me why if the Patriots suspended them, why they would have to go to the league to ask permission to reinstate them. Again, I’m not not here to debate anybody, I reported over two months ago, in the beginning of May, that the league asked the Patriots to suspend those two employees, which is in fact what happened.
Anybody can say what they want, I’m not trying to make anyone look bad, it’s not the goal, I’m just telling exactly what I was told from people that I trust from people that understand and know the situation. Why else would the Patriots have suspended them?
Just think about it logically. It makes very little sense for the Patriots to go ahead when they believe in their innocence when they accepted the findings to go ahead and do this. And they did it. That’s it. That’s the deal.
As forcefully as others say that the league did not do that, I’m telling you as forcefully the league did do that.
No wonder ESPN went through a dry run in firing Schefter; The NFL Ministry of Truth must stick together.