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Charles Barkley

Sounds Off On Tom Brady

'Fantasy Value Takes a Hit'

5/12/2015 11:07 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

Charles Barkley says Tom Brady's 4 game suspension will DEFINITELY lower his fantasy football value ... but he doesn't care because "only losers play fantasy sports" anyway. 

Sir Chuck was "living the dream" in NYC Tuesday when he sounded off on the whole Deflategate scandal -- saying he still loves Tom ... and explains why he'll still be considered one of the greatest QBs ever.  

So does the punishment fit the crime? Barkley says he's still trying figure that out ... and he's hoping to get some help from an NFL expert before he makes up his mind. 

Tom Brady's Agent

The NFL Sucks at Punishment

... We're Appealing

5/11/2015 4:10 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
breaking news

0511_tom_brady_getty-2Tom Brady's agent just came out BLASTING the NFL -- saying the league has a storied history of BLOWING IT when it comes to meting out punishment ... which is why they're appealing Tom's 4-game suspension. 

Don Yee -- who gives absolutely zero damns -- pulled no punches in a scathing statement attacking the NFL and the Wells Report. 

"The discipline is ridiculous and has no legitimate basis. In my opinion, this outcome was pre-determined; there was no fairness in the Wells investigation whatsoever."

He continues, "There is no evidence that Tom directed footballs be set at pressures below the allowable limits."

"We will appeal, and if the hearing officer is completely independent and neutral, I am very confident the Wells Report will be exposed as an incredibly frail exercise in fact-finding and logic."

And this is where Yee really begins to spit venom -- "The NFL has a well-documented history of making poor disciplinary decisions that often are overturned when truly independent and neutral judges or arbitrators preside, and a former federal judge has found the commissioner has abused his discretion in the past, so this outcome does not surprise me."

WAR!!!!!

New England Patriots

Still Favored to Beat Steelers

... Without Brady

5/11/2015 3:42 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
breaking news

0511_patriots_steelers_betting_gettyNo Brady? No problem ... because the New England Patriots are still FAVORED to beat the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 1 ... according to multiple major Vegas sports books. 

TMZ Sports spoke with honchos at multiple major sports books in Vegas who all told us the same thing -- the Pats were favored by 6.5 before the suspension ... and will be favored by 2-3 points now. 

Tony Miller, the director of the race and sports book at the Golden Nugget, says ... "They're still the Patriots ... and they have a couple of months to get Jimmy Garoppolo ready."

Get this ... we're told most sports books took down the game after the Wells Report -- refusing to take bets because of the possibility of a suspension ... which could impact the line. 

But now, we're told most, if not all, books will start taking action again as soon as today ... with the new odds. 

Good luck.  

Tom Brady

Remember, My Backup Is Hot

5/11/2015 2:50 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

0511-tom-brady-replacement-jimmy-garopds-INSTAGRAM-01If you just watch football for the hot dudes, don't worry about the whole Tom Brady suspension ... his backup is pretty damn handsome. 

Here's Jimmy Garoppolo ... he's 23-years-old ... he's 6'2" ... 225 lbs ... and was 2nd string on the Patriots depth chart last year. 

Barring any big trades or pickups ... seems the kid is gonna finally get his shot. 

Enjoy. 

Tom Brady

Suspended 4 Games

... For Deflategate

5/11/2015 2:33 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
breaking news

0511-tom-brady-getty-01Tom Brady has been suspended the first 4 games of the 2015 NFL season for his role in Deflategate ... TWICE the suspension the league initially gave Ray Rice for beating a woman. 

The NFL just issued a statement saying, "Tom Brady will be suspended without pay for the first four games of the 2015 regular season for conduct detrimental to the integrity of the NFL."

"Brady may participate in all off-season, training camp and pre-season activities, including pre-season games."

The league also dropped the hammer on the New England Patriots -- hitting the team with a $1 MILLION fine ... and taking away their 1st round pick in the 2016 Draft and their 4th round pick in 2017.  

The two locker room attendants who are believed to have deflated the balls have also been suspended indefinitely without pay. 

In a letter to Brady, NFL Executive Vice President of Football Operations Troy Vincent explained the league found "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."

"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."

"Your actions as set forth in the report clearly constitute conduct detrimental to the integrity of and public confidence in the game of professional football."

So far, no comment from Brady. 

Magic Johnson just spoke out on the suspension -- saying. "The Commissioner came down hard & fair."

Eli Manning told Ralph Vacchiano of the NY Daily News ... "It is about integrity and you have to follow the rules. If someone’s breaking rules they’re going to get punished."

He added, " "In no way am I glad to see this happen."

Will Smith tweeted ... "Tom Brady suspended 4 games, Thats Interesting!!!!"

Patriots running back LeGarrette Blount  -- "THIS IS ABSOLUTELY RIDICULOUS!!! SMH 😡 #PATSNATION STAND UP!!!!!" 

Donald Trump -- "They had no definitive proof against Tom Brady or #patriots. If Hillary doesn't have to produce Emails, why should Tom? Very unfair!"

0511_tom_briday_on_the_field_footer

Aaron Hernandez

Charged for Shooting Murder Witness In Face

... Allegedly

5/11/2015 12:34 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
breaking news

0511_aaron_hernandez

Aaron Hernandez has just been charged with witness intimidation for allegedly shooting a man IN THE FACE ... a man who officials believe witnessed the ex-NFL star murder 2 other people. 

TMZ Sports broke the story ... Hernandez was sued by Alexander Bradley, who claims Aaron pulled out a gun and shot him on their way home from a strip club in 2013. 

Officials say Bradley was present when Hernandez opened fire on a car in Boston in 2012, killing 2 people who were leaving a nightclub. 

According to prosecutors, Hernandez "shot him in the face on the morning of Feb. 13, 2013, and left him to die on the side of the road in Riviera Beach, Florida, after [Bradley] made a remark about the homicides."

Officials say Hernandez shot Bradley "with the intent to impede a Suffolk County criminal investigation."

If convicted, Hernandez could face up to 10 years in prison ... which seems irrelevant since he's already doing life for a murder conviction in Connecticut. 

Rob Gronkowski

MY DAD'S JACKED

Check Out These Guns!!!

5/11/2015 7:03 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

0511-gronk-papa-splashThe JACK DIESEL apple doesn't fall far from the JACK DIESEL tree ... and the Gronkowski family is living breathing proof. 

Check out these pics of New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski breakin' out the guns in Vegas this weekend ... right next to his almost-equally swoll father, Gordon

The whole shredded family hit up the Rehab party at the Hard Rock Hotel to celebrate Rob's 26th birthday ... including Rob's bros Chris, Dan, Glenn and Gordie Jr. 

0511-subasset--gronk-papa-splashBTW -- the people at Rehab gave Gronk a cake for his birthday. Can you guess what he did with it?

Marcedes Lewis

Don't Suspend Tom Brady

... He's 'America's Child'

5/10/2015 3:28 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

Tom Brady is finally getting some support from an NFL player who's NOT his teammate -- with Jacksonville Jaguars star Marcedes Lewis saying he hopes the league goes easy on "America's Child."

The tight end was cruisin' around Hollywood this weekend when he told he's personally rooting for Brady to play this season, despite rumors Brady could get suspended by the NFL for his role in Deflategate. 

We also asked Lewis about the devastating injury to his newest teammate Donte Fowler -- the 1st round pick who blew out his ACL during practice last week.

Lewis is optimistic that Fowler will return to form ... but the fact is, knee injuries SUCK.

Tom Brady

Never Messed with Balls In College

5/9/2015 12:25 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

0508-tom-brady-michigan-getty-01Ball pressure was never on Tom Brady's mind back in his college days -- the obsession developed after he got into the pros ... TMZ Sports has learned. 

We spoke with Jon Falk, the legendary equipment manager at Michigan during Brady's playing days -- who says he's 100% SURE Brady NEVER screwed around with the balls before a college game.

"At Michigan he never messed around with any footballs because he never got the chance to touch them! That's the way it was, I prided myself on those game balls."

It was a different story for Brady in the pros -- with TB admitting he's maniacal about the PSI of every game ball because he wants to make sure he gets the "perfect grip." 

As for Deflategate, Falk says he doesn't believe "Tommy" could be a cheater because back at UM, he was one of the most "standup guys I've ever met. I never saw [him] mess with the footballs."

"I just know the type of guy that Tom Brady is and that's where I stand. He will endure this because he is a good solid leader." 

Patriots Owner Robert Kraft

DEFLATE THIS!

5/7/2015 2:57 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

0507-robert-kraft-girlfriend-AKMGSI-01Robert Kraft isn't crawling into some deep dark hole of depression after his star QB was accused of cheating ... he's doing the opposite -- hitting NYC fully DECKED OUT out in Patriots gear. 

The New England Patriots owner took a stroll through Central Park with his girlfriend Ricki Noel Lander ... clearly trying to send the message that he's not embarrassed by Deflategate. 

There are rumblings that the NFL could suspend Tom Brady for several games this season for his role in the scandal ... but this afternoon, Robert didn't seem fazed one bit. 

After all ... he's still got his Super Bowl ring. 

Mayor of Boston

Wells Report Is Fishy

There's No Real Proof

5/7/2015 12:21 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

0507-mayor-walsh-patriots-boston-GETTY-01The Mayor of Boston is also standing by his star QB -- basically saying Wells Report investigators did a crappy job ... and maintaining that his Patriots won the Super Bowl "fair and square."

Mayor Martin L. Walsh -- a hardcore Pats fan -- took on the issue last night ... calling the report "vague" and saying it returned no real "concrete answers" about Tom Brady's involvement in Deflategate. 

"Usually when you have an investigation you come back with some concrete answers, 'This is what was known, this is how we did it.' It seems like somebody's stretching something."

He continued, "I don't know if the NFL is stretching their report and they don't have any facts and they're just trying to make it look bad for the Patriots or the Patriots haven't responded properly."

But Walsh says despite the findings, one thing is still perfectly clear -- "There were no deflated footballs in that Super Bowl and we won it fair and square."

Tom Brady's High School

We're Praying For Him ...

5/7/2015 8:23 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

0507-tom-brady-getty-02Tom Brady's high school still has the QB's back -- telling TMZ Sports he's NOT a bad guy ... and they're praying for his family in the wake of Deflategate.  

We spoke with the people at Junipero Serra High School in San Mateo, California -- where he was a 3-sport superstar before he graduated in 1995 ... and they all say the "real" Tom Brady is a caring and generous person ... not the cheater the Wells Report has made him out to be

In fact, Serra President Lars Lund tells us ... "The Brady's are an important part of our community, and we will keep them in our thoughts and prayers as they move forward through this difficult time."

Retired Serra Chaplain Fr. Joe Bradley -- who has known the Brady family for years -- added, "I have great respect for Tom and his entire family. He has a generous spirit and a caring heart. His willingness to reach out to the Padre community is legendary, but always offered with joy and humility."

FYI -- Brady is a member of the school's Hall of Fame ... and we're told there are NO plans to remove him over the scandal. 

Tom Brady's Agent

The Wells Report Is Bull Crap

5/7/2015 6:38 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
breaking news

0507-tom-brady-getty-01

Tom Brady's agent is calling B.S. on the Wells Report -- claiming it paints the star QB as a cheater ... without any real significant proof. 

Brady's agent Don Yee just came out swingin' ... saying the entire investigation was not only flawed, but carried out by people who have a "limited understanding of professional football."

In a statement, Yee says ... "The Wells report, with all due respect, is a significant and terrible disappointment. It’s omission of key facts and lines of inquiry suggest the investigators reached a conclusion first, and then determined so-called facts later."

Yee even suggests that the NFL cooperated with the Indianapolis Colts to run a "sting operation" with the end goal of embarrassing Tom and the Patriots. 

Yee also suggests that Ted Wells was not truly running an "independent investigation" -- because his firm makes a lot of money off the NFL ... and is heavily influenced by the league.  

There's more ... Yee says Tom was NOT difficult with investigators and "made himself available for nearly an entire day and patiently answered every question."

Yee continues, "The Wells report omitted nearly all of Tom’s testimony, most of which was critical because it would have provided this report with the context that it lacks."

For the record, Yee never flatly denies Brady's involvement or general awareness of Deflategate ... but says there's definitely more to the story. 

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