Was Tom Brady’s “I plead the fifth” a joke?

Some have suggested in the wake of Patriots quarterback Tom Brady‘s invocation of the Fifth Amendment when asked whether he feels appreciated by the Patriots that it was all a joke. And maybe it was. But here’s the real punchline to “I plead the fifth”: By resorting to humor, Brady avoided answering.

Eventually, he called it a “tough question,” before saying that everyone wants to be appreciated by their employer. So he didn’t say yes. And this is one of those situations in which anything other than yes necessarily means no.

If there’s anything to that, it’s fair for players like Brady and tight end Rob Gronkowski to wonder whether Belichick deviated from his “do your job” mantra to allow something other than a laser-focused desire to win a Super Bowl to influence his thought processes. If the Patriots had won (and they nearly did), it wouldn’t have been an issue. They didn’t, and many think Butler’s absence from the game made the difference.

The loss has, for the second time in three years, put Butler in the middle of a Super Bowl hangover (bringing a much different fifth into play). Butler’s interception to clinch Super Bowl XLIX threw the Seahawks into disarray, and Butler’s presence on the sidelines has potentially knocked a dynasty off its axis.

During an interview on WFAN, the 37-year-old Manning said he tried to not let it overwhelm him.

“For the first time ever, I didn’t know what the future held,” he said, via the New York Daily News. “I tried not to overthink it and draw conclusions off information I didn’t know. Just had to say, ‘Hey, I have to be positive through the season, offseason, and just work out and be ready for whatever is thrown at me.’

“Obviously, I was very excited to hear news from Mr. Gettleman and Mr. Mara they wanted me back. I work extremely hard to keep my job and when you almost lose something it makes you appreciate it even more. That’s certainly the case here.”

Had the Giants invested in a quarterback with that pick, it would have started a clock that might have had a year or two, or perhaps much less time. But they made a conscious decision to build around him for the two years left on his contract, assembling what could be a very productive offense.broncos_065_bd10520178894a2b-180x180

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