Revisiting Deflategate during the Super Bowl buildup and in the immediate aftermath of the New England Patriots’ stunning overtime victory was justified.

It was the culmination to the Patriots’ Deflategate vengeance, after all, the triumphant end to a season that began with Tom Brady serving his four-game suspension. And everyone wanted to see the postgame interaction between NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, Patriots owner Robert Kraft and Brady.

But it’s enough now.

It’s time for everyone – everyone – to move on.

Kraft reiterated his view during Super Bowl week that the league had “messed up royally” in its handling of the matter. Fine. Kraft is perfectly entitled to that opinion. He said that ire over the Deflategate penalties handed out by the NFL had “energized our fans” and also served to motivate the team’s players. Also fine. It certainly was relevant to the week’s story line.

When Kraft declared during the confetti-covered postgame celebration that, “A lot has transpired during the last two years. . . . This is unequivocally the sweetest,” that was no problem. He and the Patriots were entitled to celebrate.

But that’s when and where it needs to end.

Brady handled himself with dignity before, during and (for the most part) after the game. He generally refused to engage on the topic. He shook Goodell’s hand on the field afterward and appeared with Goodell at the Monday morning news conference for the game’s most valuable player.

Goodell actually had a decent Super Bowl week. When he said the Wednesday before the game that he and Kraft can disagree without it being personal, that was among the most reasonable public comments he’d ever made on the matter.

Brady took what many perceived as a dig at Goodell when the float on which he rode during the Patriots’ victory parade displayed a shirt that said, “Roger that” and showed five Super Bowl rings, four on one hand and a fifth on the middle finger of the other. Piling on? Perhaps. But Brady had become the face of Deflategate. He was the person suspended. He felt mistreated. Right or wrong, he’s probably entitled to his reaction.

It was another matter for Patriots defensive coordinator Matt Patricia to emerge from the Patriots’ plane following their ride home from Houston wearing a shirt depicting Goodell wearing a clown nose. That might play well with the Patriots’ fan base. But it doesn’t necessarily play well elsewhere. Not everyone agrees that Brady and the Patriots were victimized by an injustice; far from that. Patricia isn’t a fan or even a player. He has interviewed for NFL head coaching jobs. If and when the time comes for an owner of another franchise to make a decision about whether to hire him, Patricia could have to answer for that.

Brady is the greatest quarterback in history. That distinction probably was sealed even before his fifth Super Bowl win. Bill Belichick’s place among the best coaches ever also is secure.

But winning this Super Bowl did not make Brady and the Patriots right about Deflategate. Losing it would not have made them wrong about Deflategate.

Spygate and Deflategate remain part of the legacies of Brady, Belichick and the Patriots. Those legacies will be debated forever and it’s unlikely that anyone’s mind will be changed. Either you believe that the Patriots are cheaters, or you believe that the Patriots are victims of jealous opponents attempting to sully their reputation.

The Patriots ended up just fine in the post-Deflategate world, even without their first-round pick in last year’s draft and without Brady for the first four games of the season. They went 3-1 without Brady, reaffirming the coaching greatness of Belichick and offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, who now can opt to move on to a head coaching job elsewhere when he wants or stay put and hope to succeed Belichick whenever Belichick is done. Backup QB Jimmy Garoppolo boosted his trade value, perhaps to the point that the Patriots can get a first-round draft choice or more for him. Brady had a 28-touchdown, two-interception season and capped it with the most remarkable Super Bowl MVP performance of all.

So, given all of that, the Deflategate talk can end.

Can’t it?

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