New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady has had his original four-game suspension from the beginning of the 2015 season for his involvement in the Deflategate scandal restored by the US Appeal Courts today, according to Reuters via CNBC Now.
The second US circuit court of appeals ruled on the case in New York, with a three-judge panel coming to a decision over what had every single NFL fan talking from the beginning of last year's offseason. The 33-page decision made by the second circuit court can be summarised in the following statement, via NFL.com:
"We hold that the commissioner properly exercised his broad discretion under the collective bargaining agreement and that his procedural rulings were properly grounded in that agreement and did not deprive Brady of fundamental fairness. Accordingly, we reverse the judgement of the district court and remand with instructions to confirm the award."
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Deflategate - in case you have forgotten - was the nickname given to the incident where the Patriots were accused of tampering with the gauge pressure in their footballs during their 2014 AFC Championship game against the Indianapolis Colts. New England went on to win the game and the Super Bowl as well.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell originally suspended Brady for four games from the beginning of the 2015 season for his involvement in the scandal, and after an appeal by the quarterback was upheld, it turned into a federal court case.
Judge Richard M. Berman denied Goodell's four-game suspension before a down was played in the regular season, and Brady played in all of New England's regular and playoff games in 2015, only to lose out to going to the Super Bowl once more in the AFC Championship game against the eventual champions, the Denver Broncos.
Verdicts today have now reinstated that suspension once more, meaning for the time being unless Brady appeals again, he will miss the Patriot's opening game of 2016 at the Arizona Cardinals, and home games against the Miami Dolphins, the Houston Texans, and the Buffalo Bills.
The quarterback was already preparing for this eventually, however, as he recently restructured his contract so that if he was served a four-game suspension, he would only lose $200,000 rather than $2 million.
This case has gone way beyond what happened on the night of the 2014 AFC Championship game. This is more now about control of the commissioner over NFL players. According to Albert Breer, Brady now has two options. He could ask for a rehearing before the full second circuit, or take the case to the Supreme Court.
On the face of it, it looks like we're in for another summer of Brady-Goodell drama over suspensions. Buckle up your seatbelts...
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