NFL Upholds 4 Game Suspension of Tom Brady
By Evan Reller
After six months of investigation, appeals, and deliberation the NFL has decided to uphold its four game suspension of Tom Brady for his part in the so-called ‘Deflategate’ saga. Brady was implicated for his part in what appears to be a scheme to alter footballs beyond the legal limit, which is paramount to cheating.
During the course of the Wells Investigation, Brady refused to turn over his phone records (something he was not obligated to do) and even refused to give the specific records required to his attorney to turn over transcripts. It was reported earlier today that Brady destroyed his cell phone around the time of his interview with Ted Wells in March.
From Gregg Rosenthal’s report on NFL.com:
"Goodell indicated that Brady’s destruction of evidence was a factor in upholding the suspension.“The most significant new information that emerged in connection with the appeal was evidence that on or about March 6, 2015 — the very day that was interviewed by Mr. Wells and his investigated team — Mr. Brady instructed his assistant to destroy the cellphone that he had been using since early 2014, a period that included that AFC Championship game and the initial weeks of the subsequent investigation,” Goodell wrote in the final decision on the appeal.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.”"
The entirety of the NFL’s statement on upholding Brady’s suspension can be found here.
The Indianapolis Colts were the ones who brought this to the attention of the NFL following the AFC Championship game. Ironically, Brady’s first game back this season will be in Week 6 against the Colts in Indianapolis (he will surely receive a warm welcome). Brady will be eligible to participate in preseason games and training camp, but will be barred from any contact the team days before the season beings.
Brady still can take this case to a federal court, but he would arguing that he was improperly suspended under the terms of the CBA. This doesn’t mean they will re-open the investigation or determine if he in fact cheated, but rather if the suspension is legal under the terms of the CBA. He would even face an uphill battle to get an injunction that would allow him to play while he challenged the suspension in court.
While a four game suspension for slightly deflating a football seems silly, it sounds as if this suspension is due to a failure to comply with the investigation. Brady was obstinate from the beginning and continually implicated himself during the investigation with his dismissive attitude and arrogance towards the NFL. Knowing he destroyed his cell phone doesn’t help either.
Brady might be innocent, but he isn’t acting like it. For now, he’ll be forced to serve a four game suspension unless he can receive a court injunction against the NFL.