9:32pm: The NFL has released a statement confirming that Goodell will hear the appeal, as Mike Garafolo of FOX Sports tweets. The statement indicates that NFL executive vice president Troy Vincent was the one who determined the punishment with Goodell being the one to “authorize” it.
9:15pm: Commissioner Roger Goodell will hear Tom Brady‘s appeal, according to Mike Freeman of Bleacher Report (on Twitter). Earlier today, the NFLPA formally filed its appeal on behalf of Brady and asked for a neutral arbitrator to preside over the case. Needless to say, this isn’t exactly what they had in mind.
The collective bargaining agreement, signed in 2011, allows the league’s commissioner to oversee appeals. Goodell could have vacated that position, but he will invoke his right to rule on the appeal.
Brady has armed himself with a top notch legal team that includes labor attorney Jeffrey Kessler, who recently represented Adrian Peterson in his suspension appeal. The Patriots, meanwhile, also seem ready to go to war with the league office. The franchise’s legal counsel published a rebuttal to the Wells report earlier today that is nearly 20,000 words long.