Home / Patriots / NFL Upholds Tom Brady’s Four-Game Suspension, NFLPA Filing Lawsuit

NFL Upholds Tom Brady’s Four-Game Suspension, NFLPA Filing Lawsuit

Update:

Jim Trotter of ESPN reports that Tom Brady has given the NFLPA permission to file the lawsuit against the NFL.

Scott Soshnick is reporting that the NFL has asked federal court in Manhattan, New York to confirm Brady’s four-game suspension.

This is a preemptive move on the part of the league to try to get the NFLPA from filing the lawsuit in Minnesota court, which has issued favorable rulings for the union in the past.

According to Gabe Feldman, the old CBA gave jurisdiction to Minnesota’s federal court to hear disputes. However, that provision was removed from the latest version, which means there is likely to be a battle for where Brady’s lawsuit is heard.

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Trey Wingo of ESPN reports that the NFLPA is “simply waiting” for Tom Brady to give them the go ahead to take the matter to Federal Court.

The NFLPA source said of the settlements talks: “Settlement talks were a sham. League never even made a counter to their attempt to reach a deal in Brady appeal.

  • Wingo’s source said that the likelihood of Brady agreeing to this is “extremely high
  • Wingo adds that the most likely spot for the NFLPA to file the lawsuit is in Minnesota where they’ve had success in the past.

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The NFL announced Tuesday that commissioner Roger Goodell has upheld Patriots QB Tom Brady‘s four-game suspension.

Here’s the league’s statement regarding their decision:

In the opinion informing Brady that his appeal had been denied, Commissioner Goodell emphasized important new information disclosed by Brady and his representatives in connection with the hearing.

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.

Based on the Wells Report and the evidence presented at the hearing, Commissioner Goodell concluded in his decision that Brady was aware of, and took steps to support, the actions of other team employees to deflate game footballs below the levels called for by the NFL’s Official Playing Rules. The commissioner found that Brady’s deliberate destruction of potentially relevant evidence went beyond a mere failure to cooperate in the investigation and supported a finding that he had sought to hide evidence of his own participation in the underlying scheme to alter the footballs.

Here’s the statement from Brady’s agent:

The Commissioner’s decision is deeply disappointing, but not surprising because the appeal process was thoroughly lacking in procedural fairness.

Most importantly, neither Tom nor the Patriots did anything wrong. And the NFL has no evidence that anything inappropriate occurred.

The appeal process was a sham, resulting in the Commissioner rubber-stamping his own decision. For example, the Wells investigative team was given over 100 days to conduct its investigation. Just days prior to the appeal hearing, we were notified that we would only have four hours to present a defense; therefore, we didn’t have enough time to examine important witnesses. Likewise, it was represented to the public that the Wells team was ‘independent’; however, when we requested documents from Wells, our request was rejected on the basis of privilege. We therefore had no idea as to what Wells found from other witnesses, nor did we know what those other witnesses said.

These are just two examples of how the Commissioner failed to ensure a fair process.

Additionally, the science in the Wells Report was junk. It has been thoroughly discredited by independent third parties.

Finally, as to the issue of cooperation, we presented the Commissioner with an unprecedented amount of electronic data, all of which is incontrovertible. I do not think that any private citizen would have agreed to provide anyone with the amount of information that Tom was willing to reveal to the Commissioner. Tom was completely transparent. All of the electronic information was ignored; we don’t know why. The extent to which Tom opened up his private life to the Commissioner will become clear in the coming days.

The Commissioner’s decision and discipline has no precedent in all of NFL history. His decision alters the competitive balance of the upcoming season. The decision is wrong and has no basis, and it diminishes the integrity of the game.

The key takeaway from the statement is that Brady did, in fact, destroy his cell phone and prevent the league from viewing correspondence between him and members of the Patriots’ staff.

The two parties had been discussing a potential settlement in recent days, but it looks like both sides couldn’t find an amicable solution to the matter.

Albert Breer reports that the NFLPA made a settlement offer to the league on July 17, while talks did continue between the twi sides, the NFL never countered the original offer.

Brady and the NFLPA are expected to pursue a legal case, which could ultimately result in a reduced ban.

We’ll have more regarding Brady’s next course of action as the news is available.