Patriots quarterback Tom Brady has added a couple of powerful allies – the AFL-CIO and high-profile attorney Kenneth Feinberg – as he seeks to overturn his four-game suspension for his role in the Deflategate scandal, details The Associated Press. In a friend of the court brief filed Monday, the AFL-CIO asked the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to reconsider a three-judge panel’s April decision to reinstate Brady’s suspension. According to the labor federation, the panel made a mistake in regarding NFL commissioner Roger Goodell as a neutral arbitrator. Meanwhile, Feinberg claims that Goodell “impermissibly exceeded the scope of his authority” and “used the vehicle of arbitration as a mechanism to rewrite the underlying bargain between the parties, to the sole advantage of his organization.”
As for the rest of the AFC East…
- There was a report last week that the Jets’ Eric Decker was skipping OTAs because of the team’s lack of progress in re-signing quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, but the receiver issued a denial Wednesday. “That’s not the reason I wasn’t there,” he said (Twitter link via Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News). Decker also expressed confidence that Fitzpatrick will eventually re-up with Gang Green, according to Brian Costello of the New York Post. On the other hand, fellow wideout Brandon Marshall wouldn’t say whether his absence was on account of the Fitzpatrick situation (Twitter link via Costello). However, Marshall did acknowledge Wednesday that the Fitzpatrick-less Jets must “move forward and try to figure out how we can win some games.”
- When news of a minor foot fracture surfaced earlier this month, the expectation was that Bills receiver Sammy Watkins would be ready for training camp. Based on the words of Watkins and head coach Rex Ryan, that’s now up in the air, as Kevin Patra of NFL.com writes. “The goal is the regular season,” said Watkins, whose walking boot will come off Thursday. “All I know is that Sammy won’t miss time in the regular season,” Ryan commented.
- When asked about defensive end Dion Jordan applying for reinstatement, Dolphins coach Adam Gase said, “I’ll worry about that when it comes around” (Twitter link via Tom Pelissero of USA Today Sports). Jordan, the third pick in the 2013 draft, had to sit out last season after the league suspended him for violating its substance abuse policy. Jordan has missed 22 games because of suspensions during his short career and has totaled just three sacks in 26 contests.
Zach Links contributed to this post.