The drama surrounding New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and the National Football League took another turn today as the league upheld the four game suspension for Brady’s role in the deflation scandal this past season.
But there’s a key bit of information about just why the ban is being upheld.
The NFL announced the following concerning their decision:
"“On or shortly before March 6, the day that Tom Brady met with independent investigator Ted Wells and his colleagues, Brady directed that the cell phone he had used for the prior four months be destroyed. He did so even though he was aware that the investigators had requested access to text messages and other electronic information that had been stored on that phone. During the four months that the cell phone was in use, Brady had exchanged nearly 10,000 text messages, none of which can now be retrieved from that device. The destruction of the cell phone was not disclosed until June 18, almost four months after the investigators had first sought electronic information from Brady.”"
That is big news. Brady willfully destroyed his cell phone to hide the information on it, according to the league. It weakens his stance in court and in the court of public opinion. Why would an innocent man destroy his cell phone when it was asked for by investigators? Because he has something to hide.
Well, unless you’re Brady who apparently destroys phones out of habit. That still doesn’t negate that investigators wanted the phone and he knew it.
So, as the drama continues to unfold, the football world awaits Brady’s next move – which is likely a lawsuit. For now, the NFL has denied his appeal and Brady should be banned for the first four games of the season.
But allow me a moment to ponder this. If information of the destroyed cell phone is only 10 days old, why not increase the suspension? The NFL suspended Jonathan Vilma and Sean Payton during the bounty scandal for an entire season and they cooperated better than Brady has.
The NFL should consider increasing Brady’s suspension to the entire season. He openly spit in the face of the league by cheating and then again when the league wanted answers. At this point, the four game suspension seems like a slap on the wrist.
The Miami Dolphins and the rest of the NFL should not have to deal with Brady and his nonsense for an entire season. Not to give the other teams in the league any advantage over the Patriots, but to give the veteran quarterback an adequate punishment for comprising the integrity of the game.
UPDATE (4:45 PM EST): Tom Brady has authorized the NFLPA to go to federal court in an attempt to overturn his four game suspension, as reported by ESPN’s Jim Trotter.
Yes, it’s going to drag on longer.
But as Josh Alper of PFT writes, this may affect when Brady plays. If the union files an injunction Brady will be allowed to play until a decision is reached. If Brady loses, he’ll have to serve his four game suspension later in the season, if it comes to that.
So it’s possible that Brady could be suspended for December or playoff games, depending on how long this is dragged out, if an injunction is desired. If not, Brady will be looking to regain his lost salary from the four games.