Tom Brady seemingly put together his own form of protest during the preseason, which upon review involved an equipment violation that may set up a scenario that may be interesting to see how it plays out.
A listener for 98.5 the Sports Hub pointed out that Brady removed the small NFL logo decal from his helmet, with the sticker missing from the lower left of the veteran quarterback’s helmet during the preseason.
— Eric Penza (@Pennzoil90) September 2, 2016
Michael Hurley of CBS Boston took a look at a series of photos from last season, which showed that Brady obviously took no issue with it last year as it was present on each of the photos he reviewed. Brady’s teammates were also each seen with it on their helmets during this presason, so it’s clearly “more probable than not” that Brady removed it himself from his helmet than it is it was simply forgotten to be applied in each of the games Brady was present for.
The NFL Rule book clearly states that sticker needs to be there, which means that Brady may be daring Goodell to punish him for an equipment violation, which barring a second 4-game suspension, would essentially mean an inconsistent punishment without notice and further strengthen the case against the league that isn’t completely dead yet.
From the NFL Rule Book as it pertains to helmets:
“Helmet with all points of the chin strap (white only) fastened and facemask attached. Facemasks must not be more than ⅝-inch in diameter and must be made of rounded material; transparent materials are prohibited. Clear (transparent) plastic eye shields are optional. Tinted eye shields may be worn only after the League office is supplied with appropriate medical documentation and approval is subsequently granted. The League office has final approval. No visible identification of a manufacturer’s name or logo on the exterior of a helmet or on any attachment to a helmet is permitted unless provided for under a commercial arrangement between the League and manufacturer; in no event is identification of any helmet manufacturer permitted on the visible surface of a rear cervical pad. All helmets must carry a small NFL shield logo on the rear lower-left exterior, and an approved warning label on the rear lower-right exterior. Both labels will be supplied in quantity by the League office.”
Forgetting the potential that he could be receiving, here’s a look at the penalties for players who are involved in any kind of violation:
From the NFL Rule Book:
– For violation of this Section 4 discovered during pregame warm-ups or at other times prior to the game, player will be advised to make appropriate correction; if the violation is not corrected, player will not be permitted to enter the game.
– For violation of this Section 4 that is discovered while player is in the game, and which involves the competitive or player safety aspects of the game (e.g., illegal kicking toe of shoe, an adhesive or slippery substance, failure to wear mandatory equipment), player will be removed from the game until he has complied.
– For any other violation of this Section 4 (e.g., wristbands that are not League-approved, towel with a personal message, impermissible headwear under the helmet) that is discovered while the player is in the game, player will be advised to make appropriate correction at the next change of possession; if the violation is not corrected, player will not be permitted to enter the game.
– For violation of this Section 4 detected in the bench area: Player and head coach will be asked to remove the objectionable item, properly equip the player, or otherwise correct the violation. The involved player or players will not be permitted to enter the game until the player has complied.
– For illegal entry or return of a player suspended under this Section 4: Loss of five yards from succeeding spot and removal until properly equipped after one down. See 3-33.
– For repeat violation: Disqualification from game
Note 1: In addition to the game-day penalties specified above, the Commissioner may subsequently impose independent disciplinary action on the involved player, up to and including suspension from the team’s next game—preseason, regular season, or postseason, whichever is applicable.
Note 2: If a player is suspended for having adhesive or slippery substances on his body, equipment, or uniform, he must remain out of the game for one play, even if there is a team time out, the two-minute warning, or the end of a period.
Note 3: If a player (kicker) is suspended for having an illegal kicking shoe, he must remain out of the game for one play, unless there is a team time out, the two-minute warning, or the end of the period.
So under that guideline, a player shouldn’t be suspended more than one game for an equipment violation.
It’s a brilliant move by Brady, who obviously knew what he was doing since he’s far too intelligent to make a move like this without understanding exactly what the implications could be, and it’s essentially daring Roger Goodell to punish him further knowing that the violation is more or less equivalent to the reason why he’s set to be suspended for the first four games of 2016.
Brady’s suspension is set to begin on Saturday at 4pm ET, which is still surreal to imagine given the reasons behind it and how we’ve already seen players get punished for less despite doing more. Needless to say, things are likely set to get interesting. Given that the battle in court isn’t completely dead, while he may have accepted his punishment, he’s clearly not done battling the commissioner just yet.
Posted Under: Patriots Commentary
Tags: DeflateGate Roger Goodell Tom Brady