Tom Brady is suspended for four games again, to almost nobody’s surprise, as of Tuesday. The U.S. Court of Appeals of the Second Circuit ruled that, legally, the NFL and Roger Goodell can enact whatever punishment they decide is necessary for any type of offense, so Brady’s suspension stands.
The "30 For 30" episode on this whole traveshamockery (travesty + sham + mockery) is going to be so good.
In the past, the Patriots, as a team and as individual players, have publicly raged against the machine and made it known how unhappy they were about Brady’s suspension. The team has put out a few different statements unequivocally backing TB12, and also published "The Wells Report in Context", and several of the players, like Patrick Chung and LeGarrette Blount, called Brady’s suspension things that you probably wouldn’t say in front of your mom.
But ever since the court’s decision to uphold Brady’s punishment this week, the team – and all the players – seem to be on radio silence about the matter.
On the Patriots official website, there’s a news story titled "Appeals court denies Brady request". Other than that, they don’t acknowledge it.
Robert Kraft, who’s made several statements on Brady’s case that range from furious to "what the heck, man?", hasn’t said a peep.
Bill Belichick hasn’t addressed it either, with his only comments this week being about how he’s confident that safety Nate Ebner will be in good shape when he gets back from playing rugby with the U.S. Olympic team.
And the players haven’t said anything about it on social media either. Here’s what the Patriots players have had to say since Tuesday’s news – they’re all basically talking about everything except Brady’s suspension.
Rob Gronkowski’s only recent comments were that he’s stoked to work out:
You know it!! I am starting training tomorrow! Lol! https://t.co/nddCtnEQ4P— Rob Gronkowski (@RobGronkowski) July 14, 2016
Julian Edelman is goofing off with Photoshop:
Malcolm Butler is having a blast at the ESPY awards:
Martellus Bennett is excited to get to work with Gronk (and is really excited about his book project):
Hey @RobGronkowski see you soon!— Martellus Bennett (@MartysaurusRex) July 14, 2016
Everyone is loving the new "Hey A.J. It's Saturday! App that we created at my company… https://t.co/RMjWAHwmyH— Martellus Bennett (@MartysaurusRex) July 14, 2016
Dont’a Hightower is binging on Parks & Rec:
Dont'a Hightower (@zeus30hightower) July 14, 2016
@BradyDisciple I've been watching it for like. 3 hours straight lol— Dont'a Hightower (@zeus30hightower) July 14, 2016
Jamie Collins is playing pool with his buds:
Pool session wit my bros is not easy believe that— Jamie Collins (@j_collins91) July 14, 2016
LeGarrette Blount is probably hoping he doesn’t have a stalker:
What highway?? https://t.co/LtC07Xq8QH— LeGarrette Blount (@LG_Blount) July 12, 2016
And Dion Lewis, like all of us, can’t wait for football season (heard that, buddy):
Can't wait!!!!— Dion Lewis (@DionLewisRB) July 13, 2016
This can’t be a coincidence.
The Patriots organization and the players have been, visibly, pissed at the NFL over Tom Brady’s situation pretty much ever since this whole thing started 18 months ago, so to all of a sudden not comment on a court decision that’s been in the works for almost two months is odd, to say the least.
Unless it’s on purpose, which would make a ton more sense.
It wouldn’t be surprising at all if Bill Belichick instructed the team to not comment on the matter, especially with training camp coming up at the end of the month. After all, he’s done similar media freeze-outs before, like a couple times in the 2007 season:
Donte Stallworth recalled that when the news about Spygate broke, Belichick told the players he didn’t want anyone talking to the media about it (and then Rodney Harrison did anyway).
And Larry Izzo, that same year, remembered Bill saying "I don’t want to hear anything about the 1972 Dolphins"
Fortunately, if the media does want a flaming-hot take from some players about Brady’s suspension, New York is right down the road.