Late last month, it appeared Roger Goodell had captured a decisive victory in court, finally ending Deflategate. Immediately questions were raised as to what Tom Brady would do next.
— The Boston Globe (@BostonGlobe) May 24, 2016
Brady chose to fight and continue forward. He loaded up an arsenal of lawyers in order to take the battle to another level. A year ago, Jeff Kessler from Winston & Strawn was the first major lawyer to join Brady. Kessler is known as the one of the most prominent sports lawyers in all of the country. Next was Ted Olson who previously served as U.S. Solicitor General and represented the NFLPA during the 2011 lockout. The latest lawyer Brady hired was Thomas Dupree from Gibson Dunn. Dupree has argued more than 70 appeals in federal courts, including all 13 circuits and the United States Supreme Court.
Here's a quick summary of the 15-page petition filed Monday by Tom Brady and the NFLPA for a rehearing https://t.co/VctDWHHCCT
— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) May 23, 2016
On May 23, Brady’s legal team officially filed an appeal for a second hearing in the 2nd US Circuit Court. Seven of the 13 judges that oversee the 2nd Circuit Court would have to agree to an en banc. If the hearing was approved by the judges, all active judges on the Second Circuit would hear the appeal.
The news in recent days has not been pretty for the NFL. It’s as if the lawyers in the Brady case drew up a perfect firestorm for the league.
— VICE Sports (@VICESports) May 24, 2016
First came the concussion report from ESPN’s Outside the Lines that detailed the NFL’s campaign to improperly influence a research study on football and brain disease. The 91-page congressional report consists of many details, including evidence that the league pressured the National Institute of Health toward cutting off funding earmarked for Boston University concussion research. The NFL wanted things done their way and attempted to shape the research for its own purposes.
U.S. Representative Frank Pallone weighed in on the congressional study, “They wanted to look like the good guy, like they were giving money for this research,” Pallone said. “But as soon as they found out that it might be somebody who they don’t like who’s doing the research, they were reneging on their commitment, essentially.”
Pallone told Outside the Lines that the NFL’s actions are particularly harmful to the league’s players. “It says to them that they really can’t trust the NFL to do the right thing,” he said.
— HuffPost Sports (@HuffPostSports) May 26, 2016
Later the same day, the Associated Press reported, “Nearly two dozen engineering and physics professors filed paper that believe the 2nd Circuit’s ruling to uphold Brady’s suspension lacks scientific proof and the appeals judges should reconsider.” The scientists emphatically stated, “In the name of science, we support the petition for rehearing.”
The legal paperwork was filed from a variety of different colleges and universities. They include MIT, University of California Berkeley, University of Michigan, Stanford University, University of Southern California, University of Delaware, Purdue University, University of Pennsylvania, Boston College, and the University of Minnesota.
“This is not tampering. It is science. And it pervades the NFL. Games routinely are played with footballs that fall below the league’s minimum pressure requirement,” the papers said. “Courts should not be powerless to consider the absence of scientific proof when a proceeding is so interlaced with laws of science.”
It was a day of fire and brimstone for the commissioner of the NFL. Roger Goodell was accused of deliberately ignoring player safety, and criticized for his handling of Deflategate by dozens of scientists across the country. There has never been a time when the legitimacy and credibility of the commissioner has been so low during his legal battle with Tom Brady.
With one of the best teams of lawyers in the country, Tom Brady has gained momentum against the NFL. Recent news and criticism creates doubt in the commissioners ability to fairly lead and manage the league.
“The history with the [NFL] is, if you catch them, then they start to listen,” Rep. Pallone stated.
— Daniel Wallach (@WALLACHLEGAL) May 26, 2016
To top off Brady’s day, the Patriots released an amicus brief that urges the appeals court to rehear Brady’s case, and rips the leagues investigation as a sham. The brief stated, “From the outset of this matter the League’s conduct reflects less a search for the truth than pursuit of a pre-determined result and defense of a report which, despite no direct evidence of tampering or Mr. Brady’s involvement, was relied on to impose penalties with no precedent or correlation to the alleged offense.”
Look at footnote 2 in the Amicus brief the Patriots filed today: pic.twitter.com/VFFvXVXQoZ
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) May 25, 2016
So, it has become a battle of Roger Goodell against the world. Dozens of scientists affirming their support of Brady, congressional reports that suggest the league attempted to deliberately manipulate a major study, and a massive legal team with experience that is ready to fight Deflategate to the end.
At this point, all signs seem to be pointing toward Brady emerging triumphant at the end of Deflategate. Nearly everyone is in Tom’s corner, and Goodell is on his heels — backed onto the ropes.
Lets hope that the commish finally gets the message, and throws in the towel once and for all.