At long last, Deflategate is officially over. The NFL awarded compensatory picks on Friday and with the draft order firmed up, the last bit of business with Deflategate was done. The New England Patriots will surrender a fourth-round pick — the 132nd pick overall — as their final punishment for the two-year saga.
The pick to be used actually came from Seattle in a draft-day trade a year ago. New England traded a fifth-round pick and a seventh-round pick to Seattle in exchange for a seventh-round pick and a fourth-round pick in the 2017 NFL Draft.
The Patriots also own their own fourth-round pick (No. 137), but the punishment dictated the better of the two picks would have to be surrendered, so the NFL is taking pick No. 132. That officially puts to bed any punishment for Deflategate, as the Patriots have now paid their fine, forfeited their first-round pick in 2016 and their fourth-round pick in 2017, and quarterback Tom Brady has served his four-game suspension.
Ultimately, it was the steepest penalty in NFL history. It could have seriously hindered some franchises, but the Patriots persevered, winning Super Bowl LI against the Atlanta Falcons earlier this month.
Deflategate is still fresh on the minds of Patriots fans and the issue will live in infamy. Fans are surely looking forward to the first game at Gillette Stadium in September, when commissioner Roger Goodell will more than likely be in attendance at the Patriots opener when the latest championship banner is unfurled. The boos will certainly be deafening.