Follow-up thoughts on the Patriots' rebuttal

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- A few follow-up thoughts on the Patriots' website, Wellsreportcontext.com, with another day to digest it all:

1. In a letter to attorney Ted Wells detailing their level of cooperation, the Patriots pointed out evidence that Jacksonville personnel had seen Indianapolis ball boys with needles hidden up their sleeves. Our hunch on that one: A former Patriots equipment assistant spent one season in Jacksonville a few years ago and that might explain how that came up in the report.

2. How could someone from the NFL not take possession of the Patriots' footballs the night of the AFC title game? The Patriots ultimately sent the footballs to Wells themselves. Think about that for a moment: The Patriots were fined $1 million, lost a 2016 first-round draft pick, a 2017 fourth-round draft pick and quarterback Tom Brady was suspended for the first four games of the 2016 regular season ... and the NFL didn't even take the primary evidence with them on the night they began the investigation.

3. One area in which the Patriots probably would like a "re-do" is how they initially described their connection to Roderick MacKinnon, the Nobel Prize winner whose scientific conclusions supported the team. The club initially noted that MacKinnon had "no direct business or personal relationship with the Patriots." But about four hours after the website was officially launched, the Patriots added a line for clarity, explaining that prior to MacKinnon's Flex Pharma going public, the investment arm of The Kraft Group made a passive investment as part of a large syndicated investor group.

4. Jim McNally allowed himself to be interviewed by NFL security the night of the AFC title game, doing so without a member of the organization present. That isn't necessarily consistent with someone who has something to hide.

5. Wells report investigators said part of why they didn't believe Tom Brady was that he said he didn't know McNally, which they said was contradicted in testimony from others. But that might have been because Brady only knew McNally by his nickname -- "Bird." Brady actually referred to him as "Burt" when asked by investigators about his nickname, which the Patriots said reflected how little he knew about McNally. That was interesting to me because it ties to how believable Brady was in his testimony.

6. The league didn't give the Patriots the PSI measurements of the footballs at halftime until March 23, which was 64 days after the game. It did so under the condition that the results not be released to the media until the Wells report was issued. It is puzzling why the NFL took this course of action, essentially putting handcuffs on the Patriots from defending themselves from media leaks that were incorrect yet shaped public perception.