Tom Brady's presence is as large as ever at Gillette Stadium, even if he himself is banned from the premises.
On Sunday, one day after the beginning of his four-week Deflategate suspension, the Patriots adorned the tower in the north end zone with Brady's number 12 and a large image of the veteran quarterback. And then, to make sure everyone -- including the NFL -- was aware of it, they sent the picture out on their official Twitter account:
Another victim of an NFL witchhunt -- Saints coach Sean Payton, who served a year's suspension in the Bountygate incident -- Tweeted his approval:
The Pats didn't say how long the tower will stay this way; in fact, they didn't say anything at all. But there's a good chance Brady's picture and number will remain on the tower through the duration of his suspension. The Patriots said last year that had Brady been forced to serve the suspension at the beginning of the 2015 season -- the penalty was overturned in court just before the start of the season, though later reinstated on appeal -- they would have delayed unveiling the 2014 Super Bowl championship banner until he returned and would have hung Brady's number 12 in its place during his absence.