New England Patriots Rumors: Tom Brady To Benefit From Roger Goodell Hearing Appeal


Every Sunday, Mike Reiss of ESPN Boston produces a ‘quick hits’ piece that focuses on the New England Patriots, and every week it is a must read. Yesterday’s edition obviously had some interesting points on deflate-gate, mainly dealing with how Roger Goodell hearing Tom Brady‘s appeal would affect Brady’s camp, and how they would react going forward.

From Mr. Reiss:

"When the expected news was delivered Friday that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell is being advised by his lawyers to reject the NFL Players Association’s motion to recuse himself as arbitrator for Tom Brady’s appeal, it was described to me this way by someone close to Brady: Not desirable from a short-term perspective but something that could ultimately be a good thing long-term. What that told me is that Brady is digging in for a fight and, unlike owner Robert Kraft, he’s prepared for it to go the distance.Count me among the believers that even if Goodell ultimately decides to reduce Brady’s suspension from four games to two, as some have speculated, Brady wouldn’t view it as anything close to a victory at that point. He’d likely still be inclined to pursue whatever avenues are available to him. In turn, the expectation is that the NFL will attempt to block any efforts of Brady’s camp to take the league to court, so the lawyers will be busy. When I step back and consider how we got here, it is still amazing to me that Goodell has presided over a situation that has irreparably damaged the legacy and reputation of one of the greatest quarterbacks and ambassadors in the history of the game, relying on the anything-but-definitive Wells report in doing so, while failing to take any accountability from a league perspective for creating a swirling mess. It leaves a bad taste."

I don’t think this is necessarily a surprise, but when someone as credible as Reiss comes out with this, it is definitely reassuring to us fans, especially after Robert Kraft just bowed out of the team fight against the NFL. Since Goodell is hearing the appeal, there is a 100% chance this thing goes to court, where the NFL and the Wells report will get emasculated by Brady’s lawyers. And Goodell hearing the appeal will only help Brady’s case when it goes to court, because that will show the NFL didn’t truly feel the report was independent.

It is also interesting that Reiss points out that Brady would likely not be satisfied with a two-game reduction to his suspension, and I am completely on board with that. Not only is there zero evidence that Brady deflated those footballs, but even if he did, that “crime” does not warrant a suspension of any kind. The original punishment for “altering footballs” is a mere $20,000 fine I believe, but because the NFL is run by a moron (Goodell), this situation has escalated to a four game suspension, plus the fine and loss of draft picks for the team.