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NFL Upholds Brady’s Suspension, Case Headed to Court

July 29, 2015 - Author: John-Mark and Chuck Mallory - Comments are closed

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell upheld the league’s four-game suspension of New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady on Tuesday, setting up what could be a long court battle between the league and the star player. The four-game suspension stems from Brady’s alleged role in the “Deflategate” scandal, in which Patriots team employees are accused of deliberately deflating footballs in order to aid the team in their 2014 AFC Championship game against the Indianapolis Colts. After the ruling was made public on Tuesday, Brady’s agent Don Yee released a strongly-worded statement against the NFL:

“The discipline is ridiculous and has no legitimate basis. In my opinion, this outcome was pre-determined; there was no fairness in the Wells investigation whatsoever. There is no evidence that Tom directed footballs be set at pressures below the allowable limits. In fact, the evidence shows Tom clearly emphasized that footballs be set at pressures within the rules. Tom also cooperated with the investigation and answered every question presented to him. The Wells Report presents significant evidence, however, that the NFL lacks standards or protocols with respect to its handling of footballs prior to games; this is not the fault of Tom or the Patriots. The report also presents significant evidence the NFL participated with the Colts in some type of pre-AFC Championship Game planning regarding the footballs. This fact may raise serious questions about the integrity of the games we view on Sundays.”

“We will appeal, and if the hearing officer is completely independent and neutral, I am very confident the Wells Report will be exposed as an incredibly frail exercise in fact-finding and logic. The NFL has a well-documented history of making poor disciplinary decisions that often are overturned when truly independent and neutral judges or arbitrators preside, and a former federal judge has found the commissioner has abused his discretion in the past, so this outcome does not surprise me. Sadly, today’s decision diminishes the NFL as it tells its fans, players and coaches that the games on the field don’t count as much as the games played on Park Avenue.”

The NFL has already filed a request to a New York Federal Appeals Court, asking them to uphold the suspension of Brady. It is clear that this case is now going to court, and with that being the case Jimmy Garoppolo will likely start the season as the Patriots’ starting quarterback. However, there is a chance that the court will grant an injunction to Brady that would allow him to play without being suspended while the case is heard in court. This could prove more risky for the Patriots because if the court upholds the decision towards the end of the season, Brady could be forced to serve his suspension during crucial games for the team.

For now it appears that Garoppolo will get a chance to start the first four games of the season for the Patriots. If there is any update on the situation in regards to Brady starting, we will definitely cover it. This is a big test for Garoppolo, but also a huge opportunity for him to prove that he has what it takes to be an NFL starting quarterback. Keep checking back for updates on this story as there will surely be many in the coming weeks!

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