Patriots seek reinstatement of employees at center of Deflategate

New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick reacts during a news conference prior to a team practice in Foxborough, Mass., Thursday, Jan. 22, 2015. Belichick addressed the issue of the NFL investigation of deflated footballs. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

FOXBORO, Mass. (WPRI) — The New England Patriots have requested to reinstate a pair of equipment managers who were suspended amid the Deflategate controversy.

Jim McNally, the Patriots’ official locker room attendant, and equipment assistant John Jastremski were suspended by the team in May after the NFL released the results of an independent investigation by attorney Ted Wells.

The Wells Report found McNally and Jastremski “participated in a deliberate effort to release air from Patriots game balls” after a referee had examined them to ensure they were inflated properly.

The report also asserted it was “more probable than not” that Tom Brady “was at least generally aware” of plans by the two employees to prepare the balls to his liking, below the league-mandated minimum of 12.5 pounds per square inch.

The findings led to penalties against the team and a four-game suspension for quarterback Tom Brady, which was vacated by a judge last week. U.S. District Judge Richard M. Berman said NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell acted improperly when he suspended Brady.

Brady and the Patriots are set to begin their season Thursday night at home against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

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