NFL officials said Brady was aware they had requested access to his smartphone as part of their investigation. The phone was destroyed on or before March 6, according to officials, but its destruction was not disclosed until June 18.
Brady sent and received a total of 10,000 text messages on the now-destroyed Samsung device, according to the NFL. He said in a Facebook post today he has "never written, texted, emailed to anybody at anytime, anything related to football air pressure before this issue was raised at the AFC Championship game in January."
"To suggest that I destroyed a phone to avoid giving the NFL information it requested is completely wrong," Brady's post stated.
If the device wasn't completely destroyed, it could be possible to get those text messages using forensic software or by getting a subpoena, Mike Kessler, president of Kessler International, an investigative company specializing in forensics, said.
"If you destroy your phone, the carriers usually keep the messages for a short period of time, anywhere between 30 and 90 days. It depends on the carrier after that they are gone," he said. "Normally though if you have the instrument and they are deleted off the instrument we can most times resurrect many of those messages."
It's unknown what carrier Brady used, but the window of time between the actual destruction of the phone and when the NFL found out meant the messages could no longer be recovered.
"Following the appeal hearing, Mr. Brady's representatives provided a letter from his cellphone carrier confirming that the text messages sent from or received by the destroyed cellphone could no longer be recovered," the NFL said in its appeal decision.
While the destruction of the phone may have appeared as an attempt to withhold potential evidence from investigators, Brady told the NFL it was common practice anytime he got a new phone.
The NFL Player's Association said in a statement it would "appeal this outrageous decision on behalf of Tom Brady."
"The fact that the NFL would resort to basing a suspension on a smoke screen of irrelevant text messages instead of admitting that they have all of the phone records they asked for is a new low, even for them, but it does nothing to correct their errors," the NFLPA said.