Patriots, Tom Brady able to return to football after court decision

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Shortly after Judge Richard M. Berman vacated the NFL's four-game suspension of Tom Brady, a source close to the quarterback sent the following text message: "READY FOR SOME FOOTBALL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

That sums up the mood at team headquarters.

It is a day of vindication.

Berman specified lack of notice, the NFL not making general counsel Jeff Pash available as a witness in Brady's appeal hearing, and not allowing Brady access to investigative files as primary factors in vacating the suspension.

The reference to Pash will be especially sweet for the Patriots, who viewed him as the driver of this process. After all, it was the NFL who brought the case to court, beating Brady to the punch, in hopes of having the suspension confirmed.

That angered Patriots owner Robert Kraft, who mentioned the incident in remarks at the start of training camp without referencing Pash by name.

When was the last time the league took a player to court?

At a time when the Patriots hoped to be celebrating their Super Bowl championship, they have instead had to deal with Deflategate and its aftermath.

On Tuesday night, Kraft relayed his opinion that it was the most overblown story in recent NFL history.

Thus it is a sweet victory for Kraft, the Patriots and their fans.