Why Matt Damon thinks Tom Brady’s suspension is a good thing, and why he might be right


It took the government years to find where Jason Bourne has been hiding but, now that they have, it's finally time to hear what he thinks about DeflateGate.

Boston native Matt Damon sat down with Rich Eisen this week to promote his upcoming Bourne movie and the two took the opportunity to discuss the seemingly never-ending ball deflation saga surrounding Tom Brady and the Patriots. Previously, we saw Ben Affleck go off the rails while discussing this same subject on Bill Simmons' new HBO show, but if you were hoping for a similar outcome from this discussion … we have bad news.

Damon's thoughts on the suspension were far more calm, measured and positive than the ones that came from his pal Affleck. Also, they were much less profane.

While it seems that Damon — like any Patriots fan, really — doesn't agree that Brady should have been subject to the discipline (and didn't like the way the process was carried out), he's able to see potential benefits from Brady sitting out the first four games of the year.

That doesn't make him crazy.

While I'm sure Patriots fans would rather have seen Goodell lose and watch Brady embark on another 16-game “revenge tour” like last regular season, you can certainly spin some positives to be had in weeks one through four.

First, New England has a chance to see what they can get from backup quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. Though he was taken in the second round of the 2014 NFL Draft, it still remains somewhat of a mystery as to what Garoppolo can do as a pro. Working behind Brady, he's only attempted 31 passes through his first two regular seasons, tossing for 188 yards and one touchdown.

As much as Pats fans probably hate to admit it, Brady is closer to the end than he is to the beginning. Though still incredibly effective, he's not always going to be the team's franchise quarterback. Being able to gauge Garoppolo's abilities under center in games that matter, especially before his rookie contract runs out after the 2017 season, certainly isn't the worst thing in the world for the Patriots.

It may also work in the Patriots' favor that Brady, now 38 years old, won't have to get hit until Week 5 of the season. Maybe he'll be a bit rusty with a late start on game reps, but if we know Brady's work regimen like we think we do, he'll be in shape. Not to mention his return comes against the Browns in Cleveland so, if things go to plan for the Pats, he can probably afford to be rusty.

Recent history indicates that, more likely than not, the Patriots will be in contention when the postseason rolls around. It's not all that crazy to think that Brady having four less games of wear and tear on his aging frame could be beneficial in the big picture.

Damon also makes the point that Brady tends to play better when he's pissed off. Coming off the DeflateGate controversy last offseason, Brady put together one of the best regular season starts of his career … at age 37. If you're a believer in the idea that Brady is only more effective with a chip on his shoulder — and there's plenty of evidence suggesting that to be the case —  then that means his four-game suspension is going to spell bad news for all the teams that find themselves on the other side of the ball.

And, as Damon adds, if the Patriots do manage to not only make it to the postseason but ultimately win the Super Bowl, that means, in all likelihood, New England fans will get to watch Roger Goodell hand off the Lombardi Trophy to those same hands he's been slappin' as belonging to a cheater for the past few seasons. That wouldn't be a silver lining for Patriots fans, that would make the entire damn DeflateGate mess worth every insufferable second.

It's just a shame ol' Jason Bourne wasn't here to present the positives and put this thing to bed earlier than he did.