Roger Goodell is expected to suspend Tom Brady next week, sources informed Gary Myers of the New York Daily News.
Sources close to Goodell have little doubt the commissioner is viewing DeflateGate as a “serious violation,” which will prompt, in Myers’ view, the highest-profile player suspended in the NFL’s 96 years. The Patriots are bracing for a suspension of Brady that could last as long as eight games, according to CSNNE.com’s Mike Girardi.
After the 37-year-old Brady landed as the notable figure in this week’s DeflateGate report, the Pats are preparing for what would be a startling suspension for a player of Brady’s caliber and one that could define defending Super Bowl champions’ season. Pundits and sources around the league have the potential Brady-less portion of the Pats season hovering between two and 16 games.
Myers does think the commissioner will be more lenient that Girardi’s report would lead you to believe, with a two-game suspension expected after possibly an appeal-induced reduction from four. But the Daily News reporter adds that the sources believe there is enough, between Brady’s alleged ordering of footballs to be deflated and lack of cooperation with Wells’ investigation by not turning over his cell phone, to warrant a suspension.
Myers’ sources said previous reports of a 16-game suspension are “way off,” however.
In the time span that appears to be the floor of a potential Brady suspension, the Patriots open the season with a home tilt against the Steelers before traveling to face the Bills. Jimmy Garoppolo enters his second year after having completed 19-of-27 passes as a rookie exclusively during inconsequential sequences. New England finished 11-5 in 2008, its last season that featured games without Brady’s services.