This is not surprising. Goodell made his ruling and now everyone will return to terrible normalcy. Here's a rundown of the NFL's statement with additional commentary to help you understand what the hell just happened.
The quotes are from the NFL's official statement on the Brett Favre investigation:
The NFL office conducted an investigation to determine whether Brett Favre's interaction with New York Jets game-day employee Jenn Sterger in 2008 violated the NFL Personal Conduct Policy.
In reviewing the matter, the sole focus was on whether there was a violation of league policies regarding conduct in the workplace. NFL policies do not extend to private conduct or make judgments about the appropriateness of personal relationships, except where that conduct or those relationships raise issues under the law or league policies.
The investigation included an analysis of publicly available reports; a series of interviews with knowledgeable individuals, including Sterger and Favre; a review of communications between the two furnished to our office; and independent forensic analysis of electronically stored material. The investigation was limited in several respects because the conduct occurred in 2008 but was not brought to our attention until this fall. As a result, certain records and individuals were unavailable to the NFL.
Let's clarify what an NFL investigation entails: it's interviews. Lots of boring, basic interviews. NFL "Security" is made up of former cops and FBI dudes who have shiny shoes and nice pensions who are able to ask questions under the guise of being authoritative and (hopefully) make a determination and recommendation to Roger Goodell on what appropriate action should take place. Favre, Bus Cook, Jenn Sterger and I are not sworn under oath or anything like that to tell them anything more than we have to. The first meeting between Favre, Bus Cook and Ahlerich apparently took a long period of time but most of that conversation was pretty much Favre copping to leaving the voicemail messages and not admitting to — not "denying" — sending the dong shots. Why should Favre admit to that? Both he and Bus Cook and Favre's attorney were confident enough that the NFL could never prove it was his penis and unless he voluntarily pulled his wang out on the desk to do a side-by-side evaluation of the two, he was in the clear. The "forensic" analysis requires basic computer tracking stuff which could match up texts from Favre's phone — the one with the 601-291-6004 — to messages sent to Jenn. Sterger and company presented their evidence proving that. Favre seemed unable to "cooperate" on his end of things, which means they couldn't do the full on forensic analysis needed to put his dick on that phone because Favre most likely ditched that particular batphone a long time ago.
The investigation also reviewed a second media report about allegations involving other women who worked at the Jets' facility in 2008. Misconduct by Favre regarding that claim was unable to be substantiated because individuals with potentially relevant information declined to be interviewed or otherwise cooperate with the investigation. In addition, our investigation took longer than might ordinarily have been the case due to difficulties in arranging to speak with certain key individuals, the time required to retrieve and review stored electronic records, and Commissioner Roger Goodell's decision to meet personally with both Favre and Sterger before making a decision.
Ah. Yes. The other "media" report about the two other massage therapists. Let's recap to where this all came from. The day after the New York Post ran the cover story on Sterger, the husband of one of the massage therapists contacted Deadspin and the Post to tell his run-in with Favre in 2008. Why did he take so long to come forward? Because he wanted to forget it and, like Sterger was advised, he did not want to potentially jeopardize his wife's part-time employment as a massage therapist for the Jets. But he was pissed. Pissed like any other husband would be had an NFL quarterback suddenly started sleazily texting his wife and invited her back to his hotel room. Once the story hit the front cover, all of that rage and jealousy and helplessness resurfaced and he was strongly considering pushing forward with a suit because it was unavoidable to ignore and forget about. At first, he wanted to join forces with Sterger's camp to apply more pressure on the Jets and the NFL to act. That did not happen. But the man — and the massage therapists — did lawyer-up. Elizabeth Eilender, Manhattan attorney, was hired to represent them. But due to how adamant both the husband and wife were about keeping themselves out of the public eye, they were reluctant to press forward and fully cooperate with the NFL. Based on the high profile nature of this case, Eilender felt that the matter would be handled privately with as little publicity as possible, even though she is also in possession of the incriminating texts allegedly sent from Favre from that same 601-291-6004 number. As far as I know, this is still ongoing and may resurface once the parties involved resolve some family issues that are more pressing.