In giving a figurative 50-0 lead for Tom Brady and the NFLPA in their court battle against the NFL in the latest Deflategate stage, Ben Volin of the Boston Globe posits Judge Berman appears to be siding with the quarterback.
But Volin also pumps the brakes on a victory, believing that the NFL’s reluctance to settle means the league knows a possible trump card exists in Article 46 of the CBA, the now-infamous inclusion that continues to give disciplinary power to the commissioner. The league, in also banking on judges often upholding arbitrators’ decisions, remains steadfast in its belief these factors will be enough to eke out a victory, Volin notes.
“Judges’ questions are not always predictive of how they’ll rule,” SI legal expert Michael McCann told Volin. “It is not unusual for attorneys to complain that they thought they would win a case based on the judge’s apparent sentiments during oral arguments, only to unexpectedly lose when the written order was published.”
According to Volin, only two arbitration cases have been overturned in the past 25 years by the Southern District of New York and the Second Circuit, meaning the odds still may not be with the NFLPA despite Berman appearing to agree with their arguments.
NFLPA representative Jay Feely tweeted that during the CBA negotiations in 2011 Article 46 was deemed off the table by the owners.
- Percy Harvin (hip) will be back in time for the Bills‘ regular-season opener, according to Rex Ryan (via Mike Rodak of ESPN.com).
- Leodis McKelvin, however, may not be ready by then, Tyler Dunne of the Buffalo News reports. The longtime return man who re-emerged in Buffalo’s starting lineup the past two seasons watched practice on a cart, still recovering from the fractured ankle he suffered last November. The Bills are prepared to start rookie Ronald Darby in his place, Dunne writes.
- Contrary to a London Times report that indicated a deal to keep the Jaguars‘ annual England cameo going until 2030, no such deal has been reached, per Hays Carlyon of the Florida Times-Union. The current four-year agreement expires after next season. Jim Woodcock, a spokesman for Jags owner Shad Khan, however, said negotiations are ongoing and the team wants to continue to play a game in London each year. Woodcock also denounced a separate report, from the London Evening Standard, had Khan planning to move the team to London and play its games in Tottenham Hotspur’s new stadium.
- Browns first-round pick Cameron Erving‘s long-term future looks to be at guard, according to Mike Pettine (via Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal). The versatile lineman who has experience at center, and offensive and defensive tackle didn’t play guard at Florida State but is currently listed as the Browns’ backup right guard behind John Greco.