6:08pm: The lawsuit from Tom Brady and the NFL Players Association seeking to vacate Brady’s four-game suspension has officially been filed in Minnesota district court, tweets Albert Breer of the NFL Network. According to Tom Pelissero of USA Today (Twitter link), NFLPA attorney Jeffrey Kessler says the union filed suit on four grounds, including a lack of notice and Roger Goodell’s partiality. Breer notes (via Twitter) that the suit also refers to Brady’s June appeal hearing as one that “defied any concept of fundamental fairness.”
Unsurprisingly, several news, notes, and opinions on the Brady situation have trickled in over the course of the day, so we’ll use this space to round them all up. Here’s the latest:
- The NFLPA will ask the judge to either rule by September 4th or to issue an injunction allowing Brady to play pending a ruling, a source tells Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk (on Twitter). Kessler thinks the situation can be resolved by September 4th, as Pelissero tweets.
- At least two NFLPA player reps were “dismayed” by the union’s decision to vehemently defend Brady, since those players believe it’s likely that Brady is guilty and are concerned about the union’s spending on legal fees, says Jason Cole of Bleacher Report. (video link). In a letter to the NFL Players Association’s board of player representatives earlier this year, attorneys Tom DePaso and Ira Fishman explained why the NFLPA has paid so much more in legal fees than the MLB and NBA player unions over the last three years (Twitter links via Cole).
- Brady’s agent, Don Yee, told Ed Werder of ESPN (Twitter links) that his client was beyond cooperative with Roger Goodell and Ted Wells’ team and offered up all of his cell phone records. “I’m not sure there’s another person in America with a celebrity equal to Tom’s who would do that. Imagine Taylor Swift [doing that],” Yee said.
- Yee also offered up a theory on why the NFL has decided to file preemptively in New York federal court (via Twitter links). “One inference is they’re not confident in their reason, not confident in their evidence. [They’re] looking for a friendly jurisdiction down the street from Park Avenue because they’re saying to the world, ‘We doubt our evidence and reasoning can withstand any jurisdiction in America.’ They’re essentially admitting that.”
- Yee told Tom E. Curran of CSNNE.com (Twitter links) that he contacted AT&T’s general counsel to see if they could technologically retrieve the contents of Brady’s text messages, but they could not. Said Yee: “They are an independent third party. If we were trying to hide something, why would we even reach out?”
- More comments on the matter from Yee to Curran and to Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com can be found here and here.
- Judge Richard Berman, described as “fair” and “more than capable,” has been assigned the NFL’s lawsuit in New York City, tweets Mike Garafolo of FOX Sports. Breer, meanwhile, tweets that Judge Richard Kyle drew the NFLPA’s suit in Minnesota, and suggests that could be good news for the league.
- In a Pro Football Talk column, Florio wonders why Goodell didn’t increase Brady’s suspension, if the new information he received – since initially deciding on four games – convinced him that the Patriots quarterback deliberately obstructed the investigation by destroying his cell phone.
- Brady didn’t just show contempt for Goodell — he disrespected every other NFL player too, Mike Vaccaro of the New York Post writes.
- When one of the league’s “most ambassadorial” owners like Robert Kraft makes such a strong statement about his lack of trust in the NFL’s ability to be fair and just, it’s hard to imagine things getting much worse for the league, writes Charles Robinson of Yahoo! Sports.
- Mike Freeman of Bleacher Report implores Brady to come clean so that the NFL can avoid a civil war. In a separate piece, Freeman passes along a text message he received from a Patriots player: “It’s us against the world.”
- We may never know whether Brady was involved in deflating footballs, but it seems that his true crime in the eyes of the NFL and Goodell was refusing to play ball with the league, writes La Canfora in a CBSSports.com column.
Zach Links contributed to this post.