Tom Brady’s Suspension Reinstated By Appeals Court

3:27pm: Brady is “far from” ready to simply accept today’s court ruling, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, who tweets that the former MVP is mulling over his options with his legal team.

10:42am: Tom Brady‘s four-game suspension related to the Patriots’ Deflategate incident, which was initially overturned in court by Judge Richard Berman last year, has been reinstated by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, according to Reuters (Twitter link via CNBC Now). The court’s full decision can be found right here.Tom Brady (vertical)

“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,” reads the ruling from the Court of Appeals. “Accordingly, we REVERSE the judgment of the district court and REMAND with instructions to confirm the award.”

While the ruling is significant, it likely won’t put the issue to rest — as Albert Breer of the NFL Network tweets, Brady’s next recourse would be to seek an injunction and request a re-hearing before the full Second Circuit, or even to appeal to the Supreme Court. Given how Brady and the NFLPA fought the original four-game suspension in 2015, there’s little reason to think they wouldn’t attempt to get it overturned again for the 2016 season.

However, if today’s ruling is ultimately upheld and Brady serves the four-game suspension, he won’t be eligible to return to regular-season action until Sunday, October 9th in Cleveland. The Patriots would be without their starting quarterback for games against the Cardinals, Dolphins, Texans, and Bills in that scenario.

Jimmy Garoppolo would likely step into the starting role in New England if Brady is forced to miss the first month of the coming season, but the team would have to address the quarterback position further — Brady and Garoppollo are currently the only two QBs on the roster, so another backup would be necessary.

Additionally, assuming the suspension is upheld, it will be interesting to see whether or not the NFL attempts to take away Brady’s pay for four games based on 2015’s salary, or settles for docking that pay from his 2016 salary. Brady reworked his contract earlier this offseason, and will earn a base salary of just $1MM this year, as opposed to $8MM in 2015. Losing four games of 2016 pay would cost him just $235K, whereas it would have cost him $1.88MM a year ago.

The Wells report commissioned by the NFL more than a year ago determined that Brady was “more likely than not” to have been aware of footballs being deflated below their usual levels during the AFC Championship Game against the Colts in January 2015. The league issued a four-game suspension for Brady as a result of those findings, and that penalty was overturned by Judge Berman last summer, prior to the start of the 2015 campaign, allowing Brady to play the full season. The NFL appealed Berman’s decision.

Today’s ruling by the Second Circuit isn’t concerned with whether or not Brady or the Patriots actually deflated footballs intentionally, but rather with the authority of the NFL and commissioner Roger Goodell to uphold their disciplinary rulings based on the league’s Collective Bargaining Agreement.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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17 comments on “Tom Brady’s Suspension Reinstated By Appeals Court

  1. esChubert25

    it was taken away already this is BS

    • It was taken away by the original ruling by Judge Berman, but the NFL appealed the decision so thats why he’s suspended again.

  2. madmanTX

    Now The Commish should double the suspension to really show Brady and the Patsies who’s boss.

    • Pretty sure that would violate the CBA. I’m pretty sure he can’t extend the suspension of a player if no new crime/violation occurs. That’s partially why the NFL was burned for the Ray Rice suspension because they suspended him for an original amount of time and then upped the suspension even though Rice did nothing wrong (that was a new violation at least). If Goodell actually did that, the NFLPA would sue him into oblivion. Besides that, Goodell would lose any favor/respect (that he actually has left) with the other players in the league. They would instantly relabel him as the Judge, Jury and Executioner and that his power as a disciplinarian is without any sort of limits.

  3. drstevenhorn

    Seahawks fan here. His scandal appears to be completely bogus:

    link to

    • marv152

      ravens fan here…..he’s guilty, everyone knows it.

      • rkmarx

        hahaha a ravens fan. the jealous ravens and colts are the entire reason this is a story.

    • He threw his cell phone away when he knew they wanted to check it. That’s what did it.

      • jrwhite21

        Yes, and as a New Englander, I believe he should receive a punishment for that. His suspension was upset after the NFL’s appeal solely based upon the fact that the CBA says Goodell can suspend players as he sees fit. They didn’t get into Brady’s innocence or guilt. Personally, even if Brady is guilty (and I would rather not argue that with a Ravens or Colts fan), his maximum punishment should have been a fine in the area of $25,000, as indicated by the CBA for an equipment violation.

  4. mulcahy01

    Pats fan here, if the Browns season isn’t over by week 5, the can call a season once Brady is back for that game

  5. BayAreaSportsFan

    And when the original judge made his ruling he explicitly said Brady won on a technicality and if the NFL should of won but was unprepared. Shouldn’t surprise anyone that the NFL won the appeal, the original judge said they would.

  6. JD396

    Man, the NFL is pretty bad at this stuff. If they had their crap together they wouldn’t have every move they make end up in federal court.

  7. Beautiful justice served

  8. Giants51

    Again….??? This thing will drag on before the season starts….. And super butt head Goodell will get the short end of the stick

  9. Thor-DarkKnight-CaptainAmerica-16

    Seems crazy to me that the federal government is spending whatever it is spending on this garbage.

    • JD396

      I’d just as soon have these kinds of cases dismissed rather than have federal courts dictating to commissioners what their jobs are or aren’t. Nothing about this is anything more than a run-of-the-mill management-labor dispute, except for the names and amount of money involved.

  10. UnanymousSuperBowler

    Personally i think he is not guilty , the colts most likely just wanted a reason to whine. (Plus throwing / catching a blown out ball is harder if anything) however, just out of plain sight it seems lke the pats are nothing without brady , even the fan base has shown how much faith they have without him. If an entire franchise goes into flames in four games just because of a lost qb, that shows the weakness of the pats and that’s pathetic

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