The on again off again suspension of Tom Brady is back on. The 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that the Tom Brady suspension was allowed under the current CBA.
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While there is a lot of legalese to digest in the ruling, the 2nd Circuit made their ruling to overturn the overturned suspension of Tom Brady basing their decision on a myriad of reasons but most notably the NFLPA NFL signed CBA agreement that gave NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell full control over the disciplinary process and acting as the arbitrator in the case.
The ruling specifically says that the NFLPA agreed to have Goodell serve in that role and therefore their claims were meritless.
Why am I posting about this? Well for starters the New England Patriots will be without Tom Brady for the first four weeks of the season which means that if this does in fact stand, and it looks as though it will, Brady will not be playing against the Miami Dolphins in week two of the 2016 season.
Brady will miss four games, one against Miami and one against the Bills but will also miss two primetime games as well. The Patriots will lose Brady for their week one game against the Cardinals in primetime and their week three game against the Texans on Thursday night.
Brady still has options legally. He and the NFLPA could take the case to the Supreme Court but those are not always heard quickly and barring an injunction should they file, Brady’s only other option is to negotiate a lesser penalty with Goodell. Given the nature of the issue and the legal filings, it would be a surprise if Goodell reversed course. Goodell already denied a request from New England to have their draft picks re-instated. Goodell did however lower the fine levied on the team.
The entire issue stems from the 2014 “deflate-gate” scandal where two members of the Patriots were at one point fired over their alleged involvement. It was never proven that Tom Brady had any involvement in the tampering of the footballs and the NFL’s case was very thin but Goodell ruled that there was no way Brady could not have been aware of the balls being under-inflated. In addition, the NFL did not release the actual PSI numbers for the alleged footballs and scientific testing regarding whether or not cold weather could reduce the PSI naturally has been hotly debated.
For now it appears that Brady will indeed have to serve the suspension after having the suspension overturned prior to the start of last season. Jimmy Garoppolo, if this stands will be the likely starter to open the Patriot’s season.