There were reports of a passionate and comprehensive appeal by Brady’s camp. There were threats of legal action should the ban stand. Still, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell stuck to his guns; with the league announcing on Tuesday that Tom Brady’s four-game suspension has been upheld.
Though the league did take issue with the actual deflating of the footballs that was not the key contributor to Brady’s damnation. Instead, it was the quarterback’s failure to cooperate with the investigation; one that he even allegedly intentionally impeded. The NFL released a statement on their decision.
“On or shortly before March 6, the day that Tom Brady met with independent investigator Ted Wells and his colleagues, Brady directed that the cell phone he had used for the prior four months be destroyed. He did so even though he was aware that the investigators had requested access to text messages and other electronic information that had been stored on that phone,” read the statement. “During the four months that the cell phone was in use, Brady had exchanged nearly 10,000 text messages, none of which can now be retrieved from that device. The destruction of the cell phone was not disclosed until June 18, almost four months after the investigators had first sought electronic information from Brady.”
Despite the ban, it is still a distinct possibility that Brady could be under center for the New England Patriots come week one. He and the NFLPA’s legal team could now take the fight to federal court. Should that prove to be their course of action, they will likely seek an injunction which, if granted, would allow Brady to play until the case is resolved.
Should Brady not play until he is eligible to return for a week 6 matchup with the Indianapolis Colts, the reins of the Patriots offense will fall to Jimmy Garoppolo. During his rookie season in 2014, the Eastern Illinois product completed 19 of 27 passes for 182 yards and one touchdown in six games of mop-up duty.
Brady was originally suspended on May 11th after the release of the Wells Report that stated it was ”more probably than not” that the quarterback was “at least generally aware” of the deflating of the footballs during the Patriots’ 45-7 victory over the Colts in last season’s AFC Championship Game. The franchise was also fined $1 million and forced to forfeit a 2016 first-round selection in the NFL Draft and a fourth-round pick in 2017.
The Patriots chose not to appeal their sanctions. Brady had an appeal hearing on June 23 with Goodell, which last 10 hours. Apparently it was for naught. If nothing else, today’s decision is simply continuing to prevent the NFL, the Patriots and the fans from being able to move on from this unfortunate saga.