Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

In banning Brady, NFL hoped to hobble the Pats. It didn't work

Tom Brady and underinflated ball.

New York Times

Tom Brady and underinflated ball.

The whole fatuous episode began 623 days ago, on the evening of Jan. 18, 2015, when the New England Patriots beat the Indianapolis Colts in the AFC Championship. In those 20-plus months, the Patriots have won a Super Bowl, lost a first-round draft pick, fallen in another AFC title game and dodged one four-game suspension of their star quarterback, only to incur it on appeal in federal court.

And where did the NFL's judicial misadventures in the case of Tom Brady and the Missing Air leave the Patriots? Brady's suspension ended Sunday with the final seconds of New England's unsightly 16-0 loss to the Buffalo Bills. When he returns, he will inherit a 3-1 record and a one-game lead over those Bills in the AFC East. He will be rested, tanned (all over, apparently) and vengeful.

The Patriots surely would have signed up for 3-1 behind Jimmy Garoppolo, let alone behind Garoppolo and two-and-a-half games with third-string rookie Jacoby Brissett. They played an atrocious, burn-the-tape game Sunday, but they will emerge from Brady's suspension in good shape. And into their huddle will walk a ticked-off Brady, and ticked-off is just how you want him.

In the bigger picture, the four weeks without Brady may provide the Patriots a benefit to counteract the more damaging penalty stemming from Delfategate. The lost first-round pick, which owner Robert Kraft accepted in the misguided hope that Roger Goodell would drop his hunt of Brady, was always going to sting more than forcing Bill Belichick to come up with Brady-free game plans.

But Garoppolo's emergence in the six quarters he played could undo that part of the Deflategate fallout. The Patriots have the option to deal Garoppolo to recoup the pick the NFL took away. If Sam Bradford could net the Eagles a first-rounder, a quarterback who flashed the potential of Garoppolo should be able to bring at least two. Maybe Garoppolo could have been exposed if he played more. The Patriots don't have to worry about that.

New England could also keep Garoppolo, and it would also be a prudent choice. They know what they have in a potential Brady successor, and they can also feel comfortable they have a capable backup in case their starting quarterback — who, despite his durability and excellence, is pushing 40 — suffers an injury. They even have a rookie who may or may not factor into their plans.

The NFL worked for more than a year to ensure the Patriots would feel the sting from Deflategate, from whatever it is the league thinks the Patriots did in the first place. In the end, they have a 3-1 record and a quality backup who proved himself a valuable trade chip. The Patriots win more than any team in the NFL. It's possible no victories could be as satisfying as all that.

— Washington Post

In banning Brady, NFL hoped to hobble the Pats. It didn't work 10/03/16 [Last modified: Monday, October 3, 2016 8:58pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Washington Post.
    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Muslim faith greater than fear for Wharton's Rania Samhouri (w/video)

    Tranckandfieldpreps

    TAMPA — Rania Samhouri graduated Monday night from Wharton High School, and many times throughout the ceremony she flashed back to a moment that changed her life.

     Rania Samhouri stretches after track practice on Monday April 24, 2017 at Wharton High School in Tampa, Florida. Rania, who is Muslim, recently started wearing her hijab during track competitions. She graduates from Wharton this year and will attend University of South Florida on scholarship next year.
  2. Bucs' Doug Martin relying on strength from drug rehab to power his return

    Bucs

    TAMPA — He would not talk about the drug he abused. He would not identify the rehab facility he entered in January or how long he was there.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Doug Martin participates in an "open OTA practice" at One Buc Place, the team's training facility, in Tampa, Fla., on Tuesday, May 23, 2017.
  3. NCAA: Former USF basketball assistant gave improper benefits

    Colleges

    TAMPA — Former USF men's basketball assistant coach Oliver Antigua provided impermissible benefits, including lodging at his home, for two prospective student-athletes while they received on-campus tutoring, according to findings reported to the school by the NCAA.

  4. Back to .500, Rays feel ready to roll (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Who wants to be mediocre? Middling? Average? Run-of-the-mill?

    Rays catcher Jesus Sucre tags out the Angels’ Mike Trout trying to score from second base after a perfect peg from rightfielder Steven Souza Jr. in the first inning.
  5. Rays journal: Steven Souza Jr. preserves shutout with perfect throw

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The closest the Angels came to scoring off RHP Matt Andriese in Thursday's 4-0 Rays victory occurred in the first inning, when DH Mike Trout tried to score from second on a single to right. But the throw from RF Steven Souza Jr. was on the money, and Trout was out.

    "That …

    Colby Rasmus collects high fives and shoulder rubs after driving in all four of the Rays’ runs in their victory Thursday. Rasmus had two run-scoring hits a day after hitting a home run.