Tom Brady Is A Free Man (waiver wire, add player!)

The golden boy of the NFL was slapped on the wrist 9 months ago by the flying nun of a commissioner Roger Goodell when he was suspended 4 games for the Deflategate investigation.  BUT as of this morning Tom Brady’s appeal of his suspension was upheld (reversed?) in a FEDERAL COURT.  Tom Brady is a free man.

Judge Richard M. Berman of Federal District Court in Manhattan did not rule on whether Brady tampered with the footballs (because he obviously did??) in a bid for competitive advantage.  Instead, he focused on the real question at hand; whether the collective bargaining agreement between the NFL and the players union gave Goodell the authority to carry out the over-the-top (Sylvester Stallone) suspension.

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Judge Berman ruled that it did not:

“The court finds that Brady had no notice that he could receive a four-game suspension for general awareness of ball deflation by others or participation in any scheme to deflate footballs, and noncooperation with the ensuing investigation,’’ Berman wrote.

“No N.F.L. policy or precedent notifies players that they may be disciplined (much less suspended) for general awareness of misconduct by others,’’ he added.

Even if the league believed Brady had obstructed the investigation by the random and yet planned destruction of a cellphone before it could be fully examined, the judge sided with Brady’s argument that “there is no evidence of a record of past suspensions based purely on obstructing a league investigation.”
Brady may have knowingly had the balls deflated by 1 psi, but the fact that the league couldn’t actually prove it made the suspension of Brady completely ridiculous and unwarranted. 

It’s not what you know, it’s what you can prove.

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Did Tom Brady know about the footballs being under-inflated?  Yes, he more than likely did.

Did it give him a competitive advantage?  Very doubtful.  He had a better second half of the Indy game when the ball WASN’T under inflated (they switched balls at half-time).  Brady ended the game 23 of 35 passing, 226 yds, 3 TDs and 1 Int.  Even D’Qwell Jackson of the Colts stated after the game that there wasn’t a competitive advantage. 

What’s the NORMAL LEAGUE punishment for under-inflated footballs?  The NFL RULE BOOK says that teams tampering with balls are subject to a $25,000 fine.  THAT’S ALL.  And yet Goodell decided to slap the Patriots with a $1 million fine and loss of draft picks AND suspend Tom Brady for 4 games.

Does the NFL League look kinda dumb now?  Yes, yes they do.

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 The real loser in all this is Patriots back-up QB Jimmy Garoppolo, he was about to have his one shining moment.  Now he’s back to chewing gum and holding a clipboard on the sidelines.  Sorry Jimmy.

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