The DeflateGate hammer has been laid down after days and months of anticipation and worry in the New England Patriots’ case.
The worst case scenario did not occur, but they still received a punishment that will dent their season as quarterback Tom Brady has been suspended four games.
The Patriots have also been fined $1 million and will have to surrender their 2016 first-round draft pick and their 2017 fourth-round pick.
Brady was found to have been “at least generally aware” of game balls being deflated in the AFC Championship against the Indianapolis Colts.
The Patriots are coming off their fourth Super Bowl win in team history and with Brady as their quarterback.
He plans to appeal his suspension, which would likely lower his punishment to two games if successful.
The Patriots have a relatively difficult to the start of their season as they will face the Pittsburgh Steelers, Buffalo Bills and Dallas Cowboys.
Their only “easy game” will be against the Jacksonville Jaguars, so a 1-3 start is highly possible for the defending Super Bowl champions.