Originally Posted by lawyerdad
Eh, it really means, "what's done is done and they won the fucking Super Bowl, so let's try for some sort of soft landing we can walk away from without further muss."
Also, absent a confession or secret video, what did people expect the report to say? It's a report by a law firm of their investigation of a sensitive (in a big fish small pond sort of way) controversy for a big client where there is no compelling direct evidence and some people are probably lying. Absent clear evidence making one conclusion or another indisputable, would you really expect their to-become-public report to speak in any terms other than what's more likely than not? Would people expect a precise figure like "87% likely"?
I think the first sentence is largely fair and I suspect the NFL wants to have justification to do something to NE / Brady (after all, you hire a firm to do an internal investigation in most cases to cover your ass and to give you the grounds to do what you already were planning to do).
On your second point, I think the frustration is more of a "it took you four months to tell us what we already pretty much suspected anyway," essentially that something smells fishy (more likely than not something was done) and that it would be tougher to link Brady / Belichick to it.
I did find it interesting that the report basically said that Belichick, Kraft and the rest of the organization had nothing to do with the whole scandal (though I don't see anyone who assumed Belichick was responsible eating their words now). I could have seen the potential for there to be more of a smoking gun text rather than a bunch of things that are suggestive and don't look great in the context of the investigation. I feel like I learned a lot more about air pressure in footballs than I ever wanted to know and got a bit of a refresher course in chemistry (ideal gas law).