Home / Sports / Goodell likely to uphold Tom Brady's 4-game ban: report

Goodell likely to uphold Tom Brady's 4-game ban: report

Tom Brady reportedly is willing to accept a fine over DeflateGate, but will fight any ban in court.  Patrick Semansky/AP

Tom Brady reportedly is willing to accept a fine over DeflateGate, but will fight any ban in court.  

Word began to circulate Tuesday morning that Roger Goodell may not reduce Tom Brady’s four-game suspension for his alleged role in Deflategate.

If Goodell does not lift the ban, Brady’s legal team is expected to immediately file for an injunction that would place the suspension on hold until the case could be held in federal court and allow Brady to possibly start the season.

The Patriots’ training camp opens Wednesday when players report, and the first practice is Thursday in Foxborough. Brady reported to camp Monday.


ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith first reported Tuesday that Goodell likely will uphold the full suspension. Sources in the NFL Players Association, which is defending Brady, told the Daily News they wouldn’t be surprised if the suspension remained at four games.

According to previous reports, Brady would possibly accept a fine for not cooperating in the investigation, but is prepared to take the case to federal court if the suspension is not lifted entirely, in effect exhonerating him of having a role in deflating footballs used in the AFC Championship game against the Colts on Jan. 18. His camp has not been informed of the NFL’s thinking on how it will proceed, according to one source.

The NFL’s reasoning at keeping the punishment at four games could hinge on the decision to head to court: If Brady is determined to litigate, Goodell might as well leave the suspension as it is.

Sports attorney Jay Reisinger, however, said Tuesday he would be surprised if Goodell sticks to four games since that would most certainly send the case to court, where the NFL has not had great success.

“That would not have been my prediction,” said Reisinger, who manages the sports law practice for Farrell & Reisinger in Pittsburgh, of the four-game scenario. “If (Goodell) upholds the four-game suspension, a lawsuit will happen. There is no doubt about that.”


Reisinger, who has represented both NFL and MLB players, said he still believes Goodell will reduce the suspension “to a degree where it’s almost not worth it to file a lawsuit.

“Two games would give Brady serious pause about whether to try to seek judicial relief,” Reisinger said. “If he just gives him four, without a doubt, Brady is going to sue. When you sue, you open yourself up to lots of discovery. It gets a little sticky.”

In July, Goodell-appointed arbitrator Harold Henderson reduced then-Carolina Panther defensive end Greg Hardy’s 10-game suspension for domestic violence to four games.

Brady has told people around him that he wasn’t involved in the deflating of the balls, if they were deflated, which theoretically would have given him an edge in the game. The NFL has already instituted new rules for determining whether balls are within the guidelines for air pressure.

Settlement talks between the NFL and the NFLPA were believed to be continuing Tuesday.

Furthering the union’s argument is the fact that Goodell is not an impartial arbitrator, having presided over Brady’s 10-hour appeal of the suspension at the NFL’s offices on June 23.

“I think (the league) would be the underdog (in court),” Reisinger said. “The court is going to give an unbiased view of the evidence that was presented against (Brady) as opposed to the jaundiced view that was given by Roger and the rest of them.

“Roger should have appointed a neutral arbitrator to hear the case. At least you can claim there was some semblance of impartiality.I think Tom has a good chance of prevailing (in federal case).”

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Daily News – Sports


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