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With every hour a new layer of complexity is added to DeflateGate, a controversy which has gradually exploded over the course of the week. Bill Belichick's press conference within the last hour further thickened the plot, as the coach denied all wrongdoing and was stringent is his own defense. Adam Schefter is also reporting that Bill knew nothing of the deflating, which likely suggests the league's findings are similar.


One noteable theme of the press conference was that Bill deflected, in some cases directly, blame to Quarterback Tom Brady. Would Bill really throw his quarterback under the bus like that? Absolutely not. Then what is going on?

My Theory:

Bill/Kraft/TB/(Goodell?) are working together on this. Bill had to deflect all blame off BB because he was at most risk of suspension/fine/loss of draft picks if found guilty. Belichick being implicated is the most likely means by which the league could come down on the team, given his status as a repeat offender. There is clearly no evidence linking Belichick to what happened (whether he actually knows or not is an entirely different debate). The fact of the matter is- Bill, Tom, and the Krafts know that the league has no evidence proving Bill guilty. By clearing Bill's name, the team effecitlvey insulates themselves from the most severe punishments which could have been realistically imposed if Bill had been found guilty, again.

It looks like Brady and/or the equipment team is going to take the "hit." How significant that "hit" is and how much of the blame Tom will take is yet to be seen. He could very likely follow in Bill's footsteps and deny, deny, deny. But that doesn't seem likely at this point. Signs are currently pointing at Brady absorbing some of the blame. Why would the team do this? Thinking about it through the lens of penalties, Brady being implicated will have the least impact on the team as a whole. He has never been in trouble w/ the league and there is no chance the NFL would suspend a superstar for the Super Bowl, so impact on team will be minimal.

What will be interesting to see is if Brady accepts any of blame head on, or deflects blame elsewhere, perhaps to the equipment staff. Something like: "I do like the balls deflated but only to a level that is within what is accepted, there was an error by our equipment staff and the balls were deflated below the accepted minimum."

Really what it comes down to is evidence. If there is a clear link between Brady and the ball manipulation, the Patriots braintrust knows and Brady will absorb some blame. If there is no clear link, well then, a ball boy is now the fall boy.

Brady takes the podium at 4 PM. Stay tuned.

@LC_NEP
@PatriotsLife

Liam Cunningham 1/22/2015 10:30:00 AM Edit
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