Patriots quarterback Tom Brady will be headed back to court on Monday, with the veteran returning for the third time to New York as his battle against the NFL continues.
According to ProFootballTalk.com, Brady will be in court for what will hopefully be the final hearing regarding the legality of the four-game suspension imposed on him by Roger Goodell and the NFL. Judge Richard M. Berman has heard the case thus far and he’s expected to try and push both sides toward a settlement, which seems unlikely given how much is at stake for each party in this case.
For Goodell and the NFL, he can’t back down given how much pressure he’s under to beat Brady, especially considering how deep he’s gotten himself into this. Brady obviously can’t back down, primarily because he’s made it clear that he didn’t do anything wrong and it would seem silly to settle if he’s not guilty. So now it’s up to Berman to try and make a decision based on what he’s heard during the time the two parties have been in his courtroom.
Berman seems to believe there’s enough going on that’s questionable to rule in Brady’s favor, but given the fact he’s also forced to acknowledge what many have noted to be a CBA that favors the league in this case, it’s not out of the realm of possibility to believe that Brady could ultimately receive at least a game or more in terms of a suspension. But Brady’s lawyer, Jeffrey Kessler, has certainly done a good job in pointing out the amount of unfairness there has been surrounding this case and given the additional facts that have come out since this whole mess began, it’s hard not to feel that there’s a shot the outcome could at least work out more in favor of Brady.
ESPN’s Chris Mortensen reported nine days ago that U.S. District Court Judge Richard M. Berman asked the league to reach out to New York Giants owner Jim Mara, who chairs the league’s chief executive committee and oversees labor matters. However, the league reportedly rejected the request before it even approached Mara about it, with both the league and Mara apparently still reluctant to expand the talks. The reasoning reportedly stems from the fact they’d rather keep the focus on Goodell and the CBA, as well as the fact Mara has an obvious conflict of interest due to the fact the Patriots face one of his division foes in the Cowboys in Week 4, which would be a game Brady would miss if his current suspension stands.
Either way the two sides have requested that Berman issue a ruling by September 4th, which would give the Patriots six days to react in preparation for their opening night game against the Steelers. Now the only question will be whether or not Brady will be on the field calling signals for that game, or if he’ll have to watch Jimmy Garoppolo take the snaps in the event this debacle reaches another level of absurdity and he’s punished for something of which there’s no proof he even did.
Hopefully there will be some sense of closure this week, but ProFootballTalk.com suggests that Berman could kick the case back for another appeal hearing with a different hearing officer. For now this mess drags on, and Brady will spend Monday away from his team likely frustrated with the fact things ever managed to get to this point.
Posted Under: Patriots Commentary
Tags: Deflate Gate NFL Roger Goodell Tom Brady