If Tom Brady’s four-game suspension for Deflategate isn’t overturned, the New England Patriots quarterback isn’t expected to accept the decision without a fight. The four-time Super Bowl champion will reportedly challenge the NFL in court unless the entire suspension is thrown out.
#DeflateGate latest: NFLPA sources tells us if Tom Brady’s appeal results in suspension for ANY games, they’ll challenge in federal court
— Ryan Smith (@ryansmithtv) July 15, 2015
In May, Brady, 37, was suspended without pay for violating the NFL policy on the integrity of the game, after team footballs were found to be deflated beyond their required weight in the AFC Championship against the Indianapolis Colts. The Patriots were also penalized with a $1 million fine and the forfeit of their 2016 first-rounder and 2017 fourth-round selection in the NFL Draft.
According to Albert Breer of the NFL Network, Brady’s lawyers met with the NFL Players Association on Monday. Any suspension will likely force Brady to file a lawsuit in either Massachusetts or Minnesota. The reason Minnesota is an option is because the state and U.S. District Judge David S. Doty have a history of ruling in favor of players, as evident by the recent decision to overturn NFL arbitrator Harold Henderson's denial of Adrian Peterson's appeal.
The final decision on Brady's suspension is up to NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, who met with the superstar quaterback three weeks ago for more than 10 hours at an appeal hearing. The current suspension won’t allow Brady to play until Week 6 against the Indianapolis Colts.
Dallas Cowboys defensive end Greg Hardy recently had his 10-game suspension reduced to four games following an appeal of his suspension for domestic violence charges he faced last year. If Brady does go to federal court, a final ruling might not come until late into the 2015 season, or even beyond.