Curran: Relief, not rejoicing, at lockout's end

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Curran: Relief, not rejoicing, at lockout's end

By Tom E. Curran
CSNNE.com Patriots Insider Follow @tomecurran
FOXBORO - Who won? Who cares? Watching the cluster of media surround De Smith and Roger Goodell on a Washington sidewalk Monday to hear about the glorious end of the NFL Lockout, it was impossible for me to share fully in the revelry. Relief, yes. Rejoice? Yeah . . . ummm, no. Two sides figured out how to share the dough in an almost 10 billion business that's expected to keep on growing in future years. "It's about time . . ." seems more appropriate after 137 days of waiting for the lockout to end. They made a mess and cleaned it up. There was no noble cause that kicked this thing off. There was no giant wrong that needed righting. Players who earn more before their 25th birthdays than most people make in a lifetime of work can return to work. And the billionaires who locked them out so that their cash cow could keep spewing millions every time they squeezed a teat can rest well now. At least Patriots owner Robert Kraft had the wherewithal to begin his remarks Monday with an apology to the fans. And fans, players and fellow owners can go ahead and thank Kraft for being the one owner who -- throughout the process -- banged the drum to get a fair deal for both sides. With his wife in failing health, he kept on swinging that axe at the lockout tree trying to get a long-term deal created that would keep this ugliness out of our faces for the foreseeable future. Monday -- five days after Myra Kraft's death -- Robert was the first one to think of the fans instead of backslapping with the other owners. And when Colts center and NFLPA stalwart Jeff Saturday stepped forward to embrace a spent-looking Kraft and the little giant among American businessmen leaned his head on Saturday's chest it was hard to not feel a lump form in your throat. Who won? Both the owners and the players. And the fans? Well, I guess we can say they didn't lose too much. Except maybe patience and respect. Tom E. Curran can be reached at tcurran@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Tom on Twitter at http:twitter.comtomecurran

Patriots officially side with Brady vs. NFL by filing amicus brief

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Patriots officially side with Brady vs. NFL by filing amicus brief

Robert Kraft and the Patriots organization have been saying for a long time that they hope Tom Brady prevails in his fight with the league over Deflategate. Kraft reiterated that stance on Tuesday at the NFL's annual spring meetings.

But on Wednesday, the Patriots took their support for Brady to a different platform. The team has filed an amicus brief stating that it supports Brady and the NFLPA now that the union has filed a petition to be granted a rehearing by the Second Circuit. 

Per ESPN's Adam Schefter, it is a noteworthy move because the last time an NFL team took legal action against league was when late Raiders owner Al Davis sued the NFL. It is important to note, though, as SI.com's Michael McCann explains, that the Patriots have not actually "switched sides" in this instance. As one of 32 teams in the league, they are technically still a part of the NFL Management Council et al. v. NFL Players Association et al. With its amicus brief, however, the team is advocating for a rehearing of a case that the NFL recently won. 

Filing the brief may not necessarily have any legal impact on the case -- judges can ignore the team's opinion in its amicus brief if they so choose -- but its value may be more than simply symbolic in nature. Attorney Daniel Wallach notes that the team's amicus brief covers ground that Brady's petition for rehearing couldn't cover due to page limits. 

On the first page of the amicus brief, in the document's second footnote, the language is strong: "From the outset of this matter, the League's conduct reflects less a search for the truth than pursuit of a pre-determined result and defense of a report which, despite no direct evidence of tampering or Mr. Brady's involvement, was reiled on to impose penalties with no precedent or correlation to the alleged offense."

The Patriots have continued to update The Wells Report in Context, a website that argues the findings of the NFL's investigation into Brady that has also accumulated various reports and scientific studies that support Brady's innocence. But this amicus brief is another way for the team to show that it has its quarterback's back. 

The NFLPA filed its petition for a rehearing on Monday and now awaits a decision from the 13 judges of the Second Circuit as to whether or not they will grant Brady a rehearing.

Statistically speaking, Brady is facing long odds to be given a rehearing, but his legal team believes there's reason for optimism