UPDATED 4 p.m. ET:
Patriots owner Robert Kraft released a statement (that's kind of long) excoriating the league for the punishment they've been pushing for the past 18 months, saying:
"While I was disappointed with the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals' decision not to rehear Tom Brady's case, I am most frustrated that Tom was denied his right to a fair and impartial process. The League's investigation into a football pressure matter was flawed and biased from the start, and has been discredited nearly unanimously by accredited academics and scientists.
"The penalty imposed by the NFL was unprecedented, unjust and unreasonable, especially given that no empirical or direct evidence of any kind showed Tom did anything to violate League rules prior to, during or after the 2015 AFC Championship Game. What Tom has had to endure throughout this 18-month ordeal has been, in my opinion, as far removed from due process as you could ever expect in this country.
"From day one, I have believed in Tom and given him my unwavering support in his pursuit to rightfully clear his name of any wrongdoing. That support extends throughout our organization and has only grown more steadfast as the preponderance of scientific evidence has exonerated Tom. Unfortunately, this stopped being about air pressure a long time ago.
"This entire process has indelibly taken a toll on our organization, our fans and most importantly, Tom Brady. His reluctant decision to stop pursuing further action and to put this situation behind him is what he feels is best for the team in preparation for this season and is fully supported by me and our entire organization.
"To our devoted fans, your unwavering support for Tom and our organization have only reinforced our longstanding belief that we have the greatest fans in all of sports. We will continue to unequivocally support Tom and know our fans will rally around him and the rest of the team like never before. Our full focus now is on making the upcoming season a memorable one for all of our fans.”
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Early Friday afternoon, Tom Brady posted a message to his Facebook page stating that he'd give in, drop his appeal, and finally just serve that stupid four-game Deflategate suspension that's been lingering over his head for the past year-and-a-half.
His actual words were:
"I'm very grateful for the overwhelming support I've received from Mr. Kraft, the Kraft family, coach Belichick, my coaches and teammates, the NFLPA, my agents, my loving family and most of all, our fans. It has been a challenging 18 months and I have made the difficult decision to no longer proceed with the legal process. I'm going to work hard to be the best player I can be for the New England Patriots and I look forward to having the opportunity to return to the field this fall."
The move follows Wednesday's news that an appeals court denied Brady's appeal to overturn the suspension. His only remaining option was to have it decided by Clarence Thomas, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and the other six justices by taking the case to the Supreme Court. The odds alone of them just hearing it were a freaking long shot, though (according to Adam Schefter) the NFLPA still has plans to pursue that route:
The move will also cost him a series of game checks, though he reportedly saved over $2 million dollars by restructuring his contract:
Ultimately Brady's Facebook update ends one of the dumber more drawn out NFL controversies in recent memory. He'll eventually get to return to the field on October 9 where he'll be greeted with a welcome back gift in the form of the Cleveland Browns.