It’s all over. Or is it? Because Deflategate is never over till it’s over and it ain’t over until Tom Brady’s last lawyer sings.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit today rejected Brady’s attempt to get a new hearing on his Deflategate-related four-game suspension levied by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.
How many times have yo told y'all: you're never bigger than the brand. Not even Tom Brady. He brought it all on himself. Do the crime…….
— Stephen A Smith (@stephenasmith) July 13, 2016
“Appellees, National Football League Players Association and Tom Brady, filed a petition for panel rehearing, or, in the alternative, for rehearing en banc,” the court statement released on Day 542 of the national nightmare read. “The panel that determined the appeal has considered the request for panel rehearing, and the active members of the Court have considered the request for rehearing en banc.
“IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that the petition is denied.”
The NFLPA responded to the court’s decision via a statement issued Wednesday.
“We are disappointed with the decision denying a rehearing, as there were clear violations of our collective bargaining agreement by the NFL and Commissioner Roger Goodell,” the NFLPA said. “Despite today’s result, the track record of this League office when it comes to matters of player discipline is bad for our business and bad for our game. We have a broken system that must be fixed.
“We will review all of our options carefully on behalf of Tom Brady and all NFL players.”
For now, Brady will have to sit to start the season and Jimmy Garoppolo is expected to be behind center starting in Arizona when the Patriots face the Cardinals to start the season on Sept. 11. Garoppolo would then start the next three games — all at home — against the Miami Dolphins, Houston Texans, and Buffalo Bills. Brady would be eligible to make his regular-season debut in Week 5 game against the Cleveland Browns.
Purchased: Patriots/Browns tickets Game 5 in Cleveland, Tom Brady's first game back😉
— Nick Hudak (@Nick__Hudak) July 13, 2016
Sources close to Brady’s legal team told ESPN’s Mike Reiss on Wednesday that the denied appeal was the expected result and that no final decision has been made concerning the next step.
On May 23, Brady attorney Ted Olson submitted for an en banc hearing in the New York Second Circuit that previously ruled for the suspension to be upheld. Seven of the thirteen judges would have had to vote in favor of the hearing. In April, a three-judge panel said that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell was within his powers when he suspended the star quarterback four games for his role in a scheme to doctor the footballs used in the AFC Championship game in Foxborough on Jan. 18, 2015. In addition to Brady’s powerful arsenal of lawyers that included Jeff Kessler, Olsen, and Thomas Dupree, Brady had 21 scientists confirm that they support reconsideration of the ruling “in the name of science.”
“The facts here are so drastic and so apparent that the court should rehear it,” Olson told ABC News when the appeal was filed in May. “Our two primary arguments are that the commissioner in the first place conducted an investigation and then the commissioner imposed discipline. Then the commissioner appointed himself as an appellate judge or an arbitrator and then decided something new in the appellate process, abandoning the grounds that were the original basis for the supposed discipline. That’s No. 1, and an appellate judge is supposed to look at the record and make a decision on the basis of what happened before. He departed from what happened before. Secondly he ignored important provisions of the CBA about discipline that might be imposed for equipment violations. He departed from that completely and went off the track.”
With today’s decision, the Second Circuit ruling from April that concluded that Goodell has ultimate power in arbitration and punishments as negotiated in the collective bargaining agreement between the league and the NFLPA. Previously, the Second Circuit ruled to overturn Federal District Judge Richard Berman and reinstate Brady’s punishment.
Though there is no firm decision, the expectation is that #Patriots QB Tom Brady will attempt to take his case to the US Supreme Court.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) July 13, 2016
Brady and Olson could petition the U.S. Supreme Court to hear the case, but that is highly unlikely. Brady’s legal team would have to file a stay of suspension with the Second Circuit to work on the next appeal.
The reversal of judge Berman’s initial decision was detailed in a 33-page release by the Second U.S. Court of Appeals on April 25.
“We hold that the Commissioner properly exercised his broad discretion under the collective bargaining agreement and that his procedural rulings were properly grounded in that agreement and did not deprive Brady of fundamental fairness,” from the ruling in April. “According we REVERSE the judgement of the district court and REMAND with instructions to confirm the award. Chief Judge Katzmann dissents in a separate opinion.”
— Michael McCann (@McCannSportsLaw) July 13, 2016
Brady recently signed a two-year contract extension with the Patriots that reduced his 2016 salary from $9 million to $1 million that could save TB12 almost $2 million in lost salary during the four-game suspension.
Ben &%#@ Affleck is not going to be &%#@ happy with this news, that’s for sure.