If Tom Brady had been suspended for Week 1 against Pittsburgh, the Patriots would have postponed their championship celebration and raised a different banner.
On Thursday, Brady's four-game suspension levied by the NFL was nullified by federal judge Richard Berman. Patriots president Jonathan Kraft told 98.5 The Sports Hub in a radio interview that the team would have waited to raise their latest Super Bowl banner, and alluded to the fact there was a Brady banner in the works.
Kraft wouldn't directly admit to anything, but said there was no “Free Brady” message. Rather, the banner would have alluded to Brady's personal and team accomplishments, and that they had no intention of raising a Super Bowl banner without their quarterback. He also called Brady the “poster child with what's right in the NFL” and that he deserved the vindication in the court's ruling.
Kraft also added that it currently was not the Patriots' intention to pursue regaining the first-round pick they lost as part of the NFL's punishment for Deflategate.
From Kraft's interview, about the potential Brady banner:
Kraft explained that " '1' and '2' was on it. Not 'free.' And there may have been some other things that were on the banner. It was much more factual and substantive than that. Tom may have been a three-time Super Bowl MVP and a four-time Super Bowl winner, and that may have been a part of it too."
- Jeremy Woo