Email: Ravens Tipped Off Colts About Ball Tampering Suspicions

John Harbaugh, Michael Phelps, Steve Bisciotti
The Associated Press

The documents released as part of Tom Brady’s lawsuit against the NFL include an email from Indianapolis Colts equipment manager Sean Sullivan to general manager Ryan Grigson stating that the Baltimore Ravens informed the Colts that they suspected the New England Patriots of tampering with footballs prior to the AFC Championship Game.

The email directly contradicts repeated claims by Ravens coach John Harbaugh that the team did nothing of the sort.

The Ravens doubled down on their story that they played no role in aiding one AFC rival at the expense of another during last season’s playoffs with several statements released Wednesday morning.

“I’ve been consistent from the beginning when asked about whether the Ravens tipped off the Colts about deflated footballs,” John Harbaugh. “I’ll say it again—we didn’t. We knew nothing about deflated footballs.”

“As a former special teams coach,” Harbaugh continued. “I know that members of the kicking group from teams talk to their counterparts all the time about conditions, including field, weather and footballs. I learned this morning that our kicking consultant (Randy Brown) sent a text to Coach Pagano on Jan. 16 suggesting to the Colts that they pay attention to how the officials rotate the kicking balls into the game. Coach Brown’s text did not mention the Patriots and did not complain about anything the Patriots did. The Colts never responded to Randy’s text, and he had no further communications with the Colts on this matter.”

The Patriots and Ravens have split four playoff games over the last six seasons. Colts head coach Chuck Pagano previously served on Harbaugh’s staff in Baltimore from 2008 until 2011. Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti recently denied a report that he pressured NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to uphold his suspension of Tom Brady.