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DeflateGate: NFL and Patriots Trying to "Resolve Their Differences"

Perhaps there will be an early resolution to clean up the DeflateGate penalties.

Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, the NFL and the New England Patriots are using "back-channel conversations" to "resolve their differences." The league penalized the Patriots a 2016 1st round pick, a 2017 4th round pick, and a league-record $1 million. They also suspended quarterback Tom Brady for the first four games of the season.

This news comes on the heels of Robert Kraft's "angry" discussion with Sports Illustrated's Monday Morning Quarterback. Kraft wasn't going to go away without a fight to clear his name, and it sounds like the league is starting to realize that not only does the Wells Report lack much substance, it would be more detrimental to the league if and when the Patriots appeal the penalty to have it overturned.

This whole "scandal" was a witch hunt that ignored the most obvious answer- the officials weren't careful with the pregame measurements and the Ideal Gas Law did the rest- as the league's investigation started from a false conclusion and worked its way back to the beginning.

As soon as Ted Wells presented his findings, held a press conference, and told the media "I interpret [the evidence] and I believe that to the bottom of my heart..." it confirmed that the league was operating on emotions and interpretations and had nothing concrete for the bottom of their report.

Instead of using the evidence to declare the guilt of Tom Brady "more probable than not," Wells ended up hoping that what he had found was more probably evidence than nothing at all.

Kraft is at the Owners Meeting in San Francisco and it's possible an olive branch could be extended this week. He likely won't be happy unless the 1st round pick and the $1 million penalty are reduced, or even eliminated. It's not outside the realm of possibilities that this could play a role in Brady's appeal process, too.

The fact that the league is at the table is a positive sign and hopefully a resolution can be reached so DeflateGate can be put to rest.