When the 2015 NFL season kicks off in New England, Tom Brady won't be there to enjoy it.
The NFL announced on Monday that Brady has been suspended for the first four games of the 2015 season without pay for conduct detrimental to the integrity of the league for his role in the Deflategate scandal.
Along with Brady's suspension, Patriots owner Robert Kraft also announced that locker attendant Jim McNally and equipment assistant John Jastremski have been indefinitely suspended from the team.
The Patriots have also been docked a 2016 first-round pick and a 2017 fourth-round pick. The team has also been fined $1 million. Although Brady didn't get fined, he'll miss out on about $2 million in salary during his four-game suspension.
The announcement of the punishment comes just five days after Ted Wells released his 243-page report on Deflategate.
During an investigation that spanned over 100 days, Wells 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.
"We reached these decisions after extensive discussion with Troy Vincent and many others," NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement. "We relied on the critical importance of protecting the integrity of the game and the thoroughness and independence of the Wells report."
NFL Executive Vice President of Football Operations Troy Vincent sent a letter to Brady explaining that the suspension was handed down in part because of Brady's "failure to cooperate" in the investigation.
"With respect to your particular involvement, the report established that there is substantial and credible evidence to conclude you were at least generally aware of the actions of the Patriots' employees involved in the deflation of the footballs and that it was unlikely that their actions were done without your knowledge," Vincent wrote. "Moreover, the report documents your failure to cooperate fully and candidly with the investigation, including by refusing to produce any relevant electronic evidence (emails, texts, etc.), despite being offered extraordinary safeguards by the investigators to protect unrelated personal information, and by providing testimony that the report concludes was not plausible and contradicted by other evidence."
Brady can appeal the suspension, but if it holds, then the Patriots quarterback will miss games against the Steelers, Bills, Jaguars and Cowboys, with the Buffalo and Dallas games both coming on the road.
As for Brady's return, it's scheduled to come in Week 6 against -- you guessed it -- Indianapolis.
The Deflategate investigation originally started when Colts general manager Ryan Grigson emailed the NFL about deflated footballs before the AFC championship game in January.