The Obama administration will cease its hunt for NSA leaker Edward Snowden if Russian President Vladimir Putin promises to return the New England Patriots Super Bowl ring, according to a senior White House official.
The deal, which was struck over the past week in a series of secret meetings, marks a significant shift in momentum for U.S.-Russian relations. The contract makes it clear that Snowden is the administration's priority but insists that a return of the Super Bowl ring is more important as it is considered a symbol of the nation's favorite sport, not including baseball.
Putin is alleged to have stolen the ring from Patriots owner Robert Kraft after asking to see it temporarily. The Russian president held a video conference for reporters Tuesday during which he claimed to have never seen the ring in the first place.
"I really don't have it," he said, wearing the ring. "I really don't."
If returned, the contract, currently signed by Secretary of State John Kerry, outlines the steps that the administration will take to cease its legal battle for Snowden's extradition.
"He's too good at hiding," White House spokesman Jay Carney said. "We are in no mood for 'hide and seek' and could really use a win this week."
Carney referred reporters to the harsh criticism that the White House has received in recent days, calling the comments "fair but so damn mean." Jay Leno joked that the IRS ruled Obama can now officially write off the first half of his second term as a total loss on tax forms, with Daily Show host John Oliver adding that public officials "couldn't find the front of a human centipede if their mouth was sewn to its ass."
Congressman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) chimed in that the failed hunt for Snowden was simply another nail in the coffin proving the Obama administration's incompetence.
"This new cycle needs to end on a positive note," Carney said. "I really need this job."