Robert Kraft was emotional and shaky at the podium this afternoon. His team has been mired in controversy, one that's dragged on for months about the debate over a few PSIs worth of air pressure.
In San Francisco for the NFL Owner's meetings, Kraft gave a brief pre-written speech and refused to take questions.
He acknowledged the toll that the Deflategate controversy has taken on him, but agreed that it has gone on too long. The power was in his hands to either end it, or continue the saga into the courts. He's elected not to do that.
He expressed support for the comissioner and a belief in doing what's best for all 32 teams, not just one franchise. He's relucantly accepting the league's punishment, and will not appeal the $1 million fine and loss of two draft picks.
The Patriots owner acknowledged that it may be disappointing for fans of the team to hear that he isn't going to fight the NFL to the bitter end, he said that he hoped they would trust his decision. He did not take questions because he "truly wanted to end the rhetoric". Amen to that at least.
Of course, this isn't completely over yet. Tom Brady and the NFL Players Union are still appealing the four game suspension, and that case has been mired in drama. The union has retained Jeffrey Kessler - long called the biggest thorn in the NFL's side. They have also pushed for neutral arbitration, which the Commissioner refused, appointing himself as the one to hear the appeal. That knocks Brady's chances down a lot.
After the Patriots released a rebuttal to the Wells report - which found it "more probable than not" that Tom Brady was "generally aware" that Jim McNally was deflating footballs after referee inspection before games - it appears the organization itself is backing down. After a reported "hug" between Kraft and the Commissioner earlier today, it's reasonable to assume that perhaps some day was struck on Brady's behalf, that could see the suspension either reduced or eliminated entirely.
Deflategate isn't over quite yet, but if you were asking for war between the Patriots and the NFL. You won't have it.