Tom Brady may be out of options.
A federal appeals court ruled in favor of the NFL on Monday, reinstating the four-game suspension that Roger Goodell handed down to Tom Brady for his actions in Deflategate. This ruling overturns a previous decision by federal judge Richard M. Berman, who nullified Brady’s suspension in September.
At this point, what can Brady do?
“There’s really no option,” sports legal expert Amy Dardashtian said on CBS Sports Radio’s Tiki and Tierney. “He’s going to have to serve the suspension. The best he can do is delay it by asking for a stay and trying the appeal . . . to buy himself time. But he’s pretty much lost.”
If Brady does buy time, though, are we talking months or years?
“Well, the timetable would probably be months for the second circuit to decide whether they want to reaccept the hearing,” Dardashtian explained. “But for the Supreme Court, that could take a year or more. It’s hard to tell at that point exactly how long. I don’t think he’s going to go that route, though. Why would he waste the money on lawyers? But there’s petitions all the time, and it takes them a really long time to get these cases to decide. Also, I read that he had renegotiated his contract so that he’s making less money in 2016 and 2017 as his base salary. And so because of that, he may want to serve the suspension right away so that he takes less of a hit when he misses the games. . . . You can pretty much bet on the fact that he’s going to have to serve that suspension at some point.”
Dardashtian, a two-time Emmy Award-winning journalist, said this ruling confirms Goodell’s authority as judge, jury and executioner.
“He can investigate violations, he can punish them, and then he can sit on the arbitration panel and decide whether his punishment sticks,” Dardashtian said in disbelief. “And this is all because the players union – the players union! – gave him this power in the collective bargaining agreement. So the basis for the judge’s decision in this case is they basically say, ‘Listen, we can’t decide whether Tom Brady’s guilty. We can’t decide whether four games is the appropriate punishment. We have to decide, though, whether Roger Goodell acted within the scope of his authority given to him under the collective bargaining agreement. And because he’s allowed to basically punish for anything that’s conduct detrimental to the league – and he decides what’s conduct detrimental to the league – then yeah, he acted within the scope of his authority.’”
Whatever happens going forward, Dardashtian is fairly certain about one thing: This case will not make it to the Supreme Court.
“Listen, they’re turning down cases that have to deal with universal health care and major issues,” Dardashtian said. “So I doubt they’re taking a Tom Brady case.”