The NFL levied heavy penalties as a result of so-called Deflategate on Monday, suspending New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady without pay for the first four games of the 2015 season while fining the team $1 million and docking the franchise a first-round draft pick in 2016.

Brady’s suspension is for “conduct detrimental to the integrity of the NFL,” and NFL executive president Troy Vincent wrote a pointed letter about Brady’s refusal to cooperate with the investigation.

Brady will appeal, his agent, Don Yee, said. But it is likely that backup Jimmy Garoppolo will start at least the Sept. 10 season opener against the Pittsburgh Steelers and week two at the Buffalo Bills.

In addition to the first-round pick and the fine, the Patriots will forfeit a fourth-round draft pick in 2017. If the Patriots have more than one selection in either of the rounds they have been penalized, the earlier selection will be forfeited. The Patriots also cannot trade either of the selections.

The NFL made the announcement Monday afternoon, five days after the 243-page Ted Wells report was released, concluding that the Patriots “more probable than not” violated NFL rules and Brady “was at least generally aware of the inappropriate activities” of the deflated game balls in the 45-7 AFC Championship Game victory over the Indianapolis Colts.

Brady will be able to participate in all offseason, training camp and preseason activities, including preseason games.

The team’s punishment came as a result of violating “the playing rules and the failure to cooperate in the subsequent investigation.”

“We reached these decisions after extensive discussion with Troy Vincent and many others,” Commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement. “We relied on the critical importance of protecting the integrity of the game and the thoroughness and independence of the Wells report.”

Patriots owner Bob Kraft advised Goodell last week that team employees John Jastremski and James McNally, who were named in the Wells report as being involved in tampering with the footballs, have been indefinitely suspended without pay, and they cannot be reinstated without Vincent’s approval.

In a letter to Brady, Vincent wrote: “With respect to your particular involvement, the report established that there is 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. The integrity of the game is of paramount importance to everyone in our league and requires unshakable commitment to fairness and compliance with the playing rules. Each player, no matter how accomplished and otherwise respected, has an obligation to comply with the rules and must be held accountable for his actions when those rules are violated and the public’s confidence in the game is called into question.”

In his letter to the Patriots, Vincent said the league accepts the findings of the Wells report. Vincent wrote that it is “impossible” to determine whether the deflating of footballs had any impact on the outcome of the AFC Championship Game, but he noted the team’s history with “Spygate” and the videotaping of New York Jets practices in 2007, as well as the likelihood that deflating footballs had been going on for a lengthy period of time.

Vincent also wrote that, “Finally, it is significant that key witnesses — Mr. Brady, Mr. Jastremski and Mr. McNally — were not fully candid during the investigation.”

Kraft said in a press release, “Despite our conviction that there was no tampering with footballs, it was our intention to accept any discipline levied by the league. Today’s punishment, however, far exceeded any reasonable expectation. It was based completely on circumstantial rather than hard or conclusive evidence.

“We are humbled by the support the New England Patriots have received from our fans throughout the world. We recognize our fans’ concerns regarding the NFL’s penalties and share in their disappointment in how this one-sided investigation was handled, as well as the dismissal of the scientific evidence supported by the Ideal Gas Law in the final report.

“Tom Brady has our unconditional support. Our belief in him has not wavered.”

Yee, Brady’s agent, replied to the punishment in statement on Monday:

“The discipline is ridiculous and has no legitimate basis. In my opinion, this outcome was predetermined; there was no fairness in the Wells investigation whatsoever. There is no evidence that Tom directed footballs be set at pressures below the allowable limits. In fact, the evidence shows Tom clearly emphasized that footballs be set at pressures within the rules. Tom also cooperated with the investigation and answered every question presented to him.

“The Wells Report presents significant evidence, however, that the NFL lacks standards or protocols with respect to its handling of footballs prior to games; this is not the fault of Tom or the Patriots. The report also presents significant evidence the NFL participated with the Colts in some type of pre-AFC Championship Game planning regarding the footballs. This fact may raise serious questions about the integrity of the games we view on Sundays.

“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. 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.

“Sadly, today’s decision diminishes the NFL as it tells its fans, players and coaches that the games on the field don’t count as much as the games played on Park Avenue.”

Some of Brady’s teammates responded with their displeasure on social media.

Running back LeGarrette Blount said via Twitter: “THIS IS ABSOLUTELY RIDICULOUS!!! SMH #PATSNATION STAND UP!!!!!”

Safety Patrick Chung tweeted: “(Expletive) ridiculous.” And linebacker Dont’a Hightower and defensive end Chandler Jones merely tweeted emoticons expressing negative feelings.

Brady has not made a public statement; but, at an appearance in Salem, Massachusetts, last week, he said the controversy has not tainted the team’s Super Bowl victory.

“Absolutely not,” he said. “We earned everything we got and achieved as a team, and I am proud of that, and so are our fans.