New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft announced in a press conference today that he will not appeal the punishment the NFL handed down in the wake of the “Deflategate” scandal.

Kraft stated that his decision was based on the idea that he could either “end (this controversy) or extend it.” He called the discipline “unreasonable and unprecedented,” but tempered his comments by saying, “[w]e have concentrated the power of adjudication of problems with the office of the commissioner. Though I might disagree with what the commissioner has decided, I do have respect for him … that’s he’s doing the best in the best of the 32… I’m gonna accept — reluctantly… At no time should the agenda of one team outweigh the collective 32.”

Following an independent investigation, the Patriots were fined $1 million and lost their first round draft pick for 2016 and fourth round pick for 2017. Additionally, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady was suspended for the first four games of the 2016-2017 season. The allegations and evidence uncovered during the investigation were recently released in The Wells Report, which we covered earlier this month.

The Patriots’ decision to accept the full team punishment does not preclude Tom Brady from appealing his punishments. George Atallah, Assistant Executive Director of External Affairs at the NFL Players Association, made that clear on Twitter (and is currently getting eviscerated for it):

Because the politics of sports is almost as convoluted and top-down as the politics of politics, conspiracy theories already abound regarding today’s tail-between-the-legs response:

Is it a fair assumption? Maybe. The Patriots sunk an incredible amount of time, money, and energy into their response to the Wells Report; but even before the report was released, both players and officials alike were adamant that the allegations against the ball club were beyond ridiculous.

Brady will continue with his own private appeal, which signals to me that those involved already know exactly how this will end.