There are dozens of reasons Tom Brady should give up his faux-chivalrous quest to be exonerated in Deflategate, a pipe dream that, thanks to Roger Goodell, will never happen. Forget the facts, forget the process: Brady lost the battle, then the war — a war New England only realized it was fighting on Wednesday.
Seeing as how the NFL isn’t going to blink and the best-case scenario doesn’t do much for the Patriots or Brady in the long term, it should be time to move on.
But there is a far more practical reason Brady should give up the lawsuit, take his penalty and leave Deflategate in the rear view and it’s also one that all whining Pats fans and personnel (cough, ROBERTKRAFT, cough) should remember: The AFC East stinks, the Pats are still going to win it and Brady missing four games at the start of the season is better than literally every other option on the table (e.g. playing season during court proceedings, having suspension upheld late in the season, etc.)
How little should Pats fans be worried: New England is still a heavy favorite to win the AFC East without Brady, according to the Las Vegas SuperBook (via ESPN):
The team’s first four games — vs. Pittsburgh, at Buffalo, vs. Jacksonville, at Dallas — feature an automatic win (Jags), a probable win (Bills) and what could easily be a split (Steelers and Cowboys). A 2-2 record is probably most likely. But 1-3 hardly kills New England, not in a division its won 11 of the past 12 years and 11 straight years in which Brady has finished the season as quarterback.
The Pats are 10-5 without Brady during his tenure as starter and that was with Matt Cassel, a mediocre-to-average quarterback who may actually start in Buffalo this year, seven years after Brady’s injury made him a hot commodity.
Who’s going to come up? Well, surely not Buffalo, at least not this year. Miami, with an improved defense but an offense that lost its top playmaker? The Jets? THE JETS? C’mon. Let’s be serious here.