Patriots quarterback Brady ends 'Deflategate' legal fight

Fri Jul 15, 2016 4:17pm EDT
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By Scott Malone

BOSTON (Reuters) - New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady on Friday said he would end his legal battle against the National Football League over the decision to suspend him for four games as a result of the "Deflategate" scandal.

"It has been a challenging 18 months and I have made the difficult decision to no longer proceed with the legal process," the star player said in a statement posted to his official Facebook page. "I look forward to having the opportunity to return to the field this fall."

On Wednesday, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York declined to review its April decision to reinstate the suspension of Brady, 38, who was twice the league's most valuable player.

Brady was suspended after the NFL discovered underinflated footballs were used in the Patriots' 45-7 rout of the Indianapolis Colts in the January 2015 American Football Conference championship game.

The win propelled the Patriots to Super Bowl XLIX, where they beat the Seattle Seahawks, giving Brady his fourth Super Bowl title.

The saga had become a major distraction for the NFL, which also faces criticism over player safety and the link between football and concussions.

"The penalty imposed by the NFL was unprecedented, unjust and unreasonable," Patriots owner Robert Kraft said in a statement on Friday. "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."

The NFL declined to comment, spokesman Brian McCarthy said in an e-mail.   Continued...

Jan 16, 2016; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) reacts before the game against the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC Divisional round playoff game at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports/File Photo