The NFL has targeted a New England Patriots employee as the focus of their investigation into the Deflategate controversy that is now entering its second week.
Last week, the NFL released a statement saying they were continuing their investigation into under-inflated footballs used by the Patriots during their AFC Championship game victory over the Colts to determine if the deflation was “the result of deliberate action” by the Patriots.
The circumstances surrounding the case still seem to be a bit too peculiar, and it is still being investigated if the Patriots employee went rogue and acted alone, or if he took orders from somebody else in the organization.
Here is what you need to know about the employee being suspected:
1. The NFL is Zeroing in on Investigating a Patriots Locker Room Attendant
According to a report yesterday from FOX Sports’ Jay Glazer:
Locker room attendant w(with) Patriots who allegedly took balls from officials locker room to another area on way to field. Sources say they have interviewed him and additionally have video. Still gauging if any wrong doing occurred with him but he is strong person of interest
As Glazer said, there is video of the incident, which should make the investigation easier for the league.
2. The Patriots Employee ‘Allegedly’ Took 24 Footballs into the Bathroom
In a video the Patriots had given to the NFL early in the investigation, the locker room attendant is seen to be taken the 24 game footballs (both the Patriots and the Colts) to a more remote bathroom location in Gillette Stadium.
3. The Employee ‘Allegedly’ Spent 90 Seconds in the Bathroom
According to the league source involved in the investigation that spoke to Pro Football Talk directly, the video shows that the Patriots employee was in the bathroom for approximately 90 seconds.
It would be hard to deflate 11 of the 12 game balls the Patriots used in just 90 seconds.
4. The NFL Has Already Interviewed the Suspect
Per Glazer, the league has interviewed a Patriots locker room attendant who allegedly took footballs from the officials locker room after they had been inspected and approved “to another area on way to field” before the start of the game.
The NFL will probably continue to interview members of the Patriots organization in the coming days — despite players such as Tom Brady getting their “feelings hurt” in the process.
As of Sunday, Brady had still not been interviewed by the league and information about if he had been interviewed in the last day-and-a-half since the Pro Bowl has not been disclosed.
5. The Suspect’s Name Has Not Been Disclosed
For obvious reasons, the NFL still wants to go through the process of a thorough investigation before revealing the suspect’s name and role in the incident to the public.
There is also the question of if the employee acted solely by himself, or if he was given orders from somebody in the Patriots organization to take the footballs, inspect him, and deflate them.
Regardless, the investigation is still not over, and it seems as if the NFL has no problem in extending this time period — and eventually taking disciplinary action — following Super Bowl XLIX this Sunday.