Report: Tom Brady could be suspended for up to one year

Tom Brady's offseason might extend until 2016 if the NFL decides to drop the proverbial hammer on the Patriots quarterback and at least one report is indicating that the league could slam the hammer down hard.

According to the Miami Herald, Brady could be suspended for up to one year thanks to the part he played in Deflategate.  

"Everything is being studied. Everything is being considered," an NFL source told the Herald

Now, that doesn't mean that Brady will be suspended for the year, but it does mean that the NFL is at least considering it. Brady's punishment could end up being a shorter suspension, but the source told the Herald not to dismiss the possibility of a year-long suspension. 

The Patriots quarterback, along with locker attendant Jim McNally and equipment assistant John Jastremski are the three people most likely to be disciplined, according to ESPN.com.

The 243-page Wells report found that Brady was "at least generally aware of the inappropriate activities of McNally and Jastremski involving the release of air from Patriots game balls."

The report also found that "McNally (the Officials Locker Room attendant for the Patriots) and John Jastremski (an equipment assistant for the Patriots) participated in a deliberate effort to release air from Patriots game balls after the balls were examined by the referee."

In the report, Wells also noted that Brady refused to turn over his cell phone and other personal information for investigative purposes.

Will Tom Brady play in 2015? (USATSI)
Will Tom Brady play in 2015? (USATSI)

Brady's refusal to help the investigation could end up being one of the big reasons he's hit with a potentially big suspension.

In the NFL's Policy on Integrity of the Game & Enforcement of Competitive Rules, the league notes that "Failure to cooperate in an investigation shall be considered conduct detrimental to the League and will subject the offending club and responsible individual(s) to appropriate discipline."

Brady's decision to not fully cooperate in the investigation was duly noted in the Wells report. 

"Brady's refusal to provide us with his own emails, text messages and phone records on relevant topics, in response to our narrowly tailored requests, limited the evidence available for our review and analysis," the report said.

Whatever Brady's punishment ends up being, it will likely be handed down sometime in the near future.

In a statement after the Wells report was released on Wednesday, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said the league "will consider what steps to take in light of the report, both with respect to possible disciplinary action and to any changes in protocols that are necessary to avoid future incidents of this type."

According to ESPN, the NFL will respond to the Wells report in a matter of days, as opposed to a matter of weeks. 

CBS Sports Writer

John Breech has been at CBS Sports since July 2011 and currently spends most of his time writing about the NFL. He's believed to be one of only three people in the world who thinks that Andy Dalton will... Full Bio

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