|06.23.15 at 2:05 pm ET|
As the afternoon continues, there have been multiple questions as to just how long Tom Brady has been granted to mount his Deflategate appeal Tuesday in New York.
An initial report from ESPN’s Adam Schefter indicated that Brady’s defense team had been given four hours to present its case, and that things were going to wrap up sometime Tuesday. (Pro Football Talk picked that tidbit up and ran with it.) However, NFL spokesman Greg Aiello replied with a Tweet that suggested things could go beyond that.
@ProFootballTalk There is no strict 4-hour time limit on the TB team's presentation and it is expected to go beyond that.
— Greg Aiello (@gregaiello) June 23, 2015
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|06.23.15 at 12:13 pm ET|
Tom Brady is apparently testifying in Tuesday’s appeal while under oath, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.
While it does sound odd, it’s not out of the realm when it comes to these sorts of matters. Legal analyst Michael McCann noted Tuesday morning that “sworn testimony can be part of arbitration hearings if the parties agree. (NFL commissioner Roger Goodell testified in Ray Rice‘s hearing.”
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|06.23.15 at 11:19 am ET|
Rapoport is of the belief, if Brady does in fact come forth with new information in Tuesday’s hearing, commissioner Roger Goodell could reduce the suspension.
“I think he could go down to one. I think it could be zero,” Rapoport said. “If Tom Brady shows that — if he gives up his phone, if he shows new evidence that he really did not know, it was not generally aware — if he can prove it, I think zero is on the table. One is on the table. I think if he cooperates and is forthcoming, a reduction is very realistic. All these things are in play, but again, my sense is that Roger Goodell is extremely welcoming of new information and new perspective from Tom Brady which would lead to a reduced suspension.”
He pointed to Ben Roethlisberger‘s case where Goodell reduced his suspension from six games to four, so it has happened before.
“If there was a reason for optimism for Tom Brady, it’s Roger Goodell has said publicly and privately and so have NFL executives, that he is open to hearing what Tom Brady has to say,” he said. “If that this is true, and I believe it is, it really is all in Tom Brady’s hands. I think that is one of the key things about this appeal hearing. This is not the NFL’s hearing. This is Tom Brady’s hearing. This is his chance to sway one way or the other — of course he wants his way — which way the punishment goes. If Tom Brady provides something new, some new perspective, new evidence, something to show he didn’t do it, or if he did do it, then maybe some contrition.
“It is all up to him with which direction he wants to take this and you can argue one way or the other on Roger Goodell, but the parallel that has been brought up to me is the Ben Roethlisberger situation. Obviously not in the specific penalty, but in the actual appeal hearing. Goodell sat across from Roethlisberger at Westchester airport and looked him in the eye and he heard Roethlisberger say he was going to live his life a different way and he took a suspension from six games to four games. He’s done it before. He’s reduced it before and if Brady does something similar, it might happen.”
|06.23.15 at 9:57 am ET|
Sports Illustrated’s legal analyst Michael McCann joined Dennis & Callahan on Tuesday to discuss Tom Brady‘s appeal hearing and his path to potentially obtaining exoneration. To hear the full interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.
McCann discussed the format of Tuesday’s hearing, which he says will not be the same as a normal court procedure.
“It’s going to sound like a business meeting more than anything else, rather than a trial,” McCann said. “It’s going to involve Roger Goodell at the head of the table with Tom Brady and his attorney, his agent and NFLPA officials on one side and NFL officials and Ted Wells. … It’s going to be more of a conversation rather than strict rules of procedure and evidence. Roger Goodell, who is not an attorney, is going to be running it like a business meeting. He’ll give each side an opportunity to talk, he’ll ask questions, each side can interrupt, it’s not as if it’s a trial and you have to make a specific objection to a procedure at a certain time. It’s more of a fluid conversation. It will be tense, but it won’t be anything like a trial where people are sitting at opposite tables, looking at a judge. It won’t have that kind of formality to it.”
“If he goes to court, he’d know if he gets a restraining order by the end of August, but there would be an appeal,” he added. “The appeal could go literally until the end of the year or even into 2016. It depends how long the U.S. Court of Appeals decides to take. Look at Adrian Peterson. the judge decided in February and he’s still waiting on the appeal. … There’s no certain times. Brady may get a swift victory if he goes to court, but that could be lost later on and I think he has to factor that in to his thinking.”
While many expect Brady to take the case to court if he doesn’t get his suspension completely taken off the books by Goodell, McCann said there is a downside with having it go to court.
“The downside is timing. He has no control over how long it’s going to take,” McCann said. “There’s a possibility that he could get a temporary restraining order. In the next month or so, he gets to play in the season-opener against the Steelers, the NFL appeals the restraining order, sometime in November or December a U.S. Court of Appeals vacates the restraining order, allowing the NFL to then suspend Tom Brady. In other words, Tom Brady could get to play at the start of the season, get a restraining order against the NFL, but then later on lose that restraining order because a higher court vacates it. He’s then suspended in November or December, or the playoffs, or the start of the 2016 season. … If you go to court and lose, it looks bad. Because then his critics are going to say, ‘The judge held that you’re a cheater.’ I do think there’s some danger.
“Then there’s the danger of pre-trial discovery, where he may have to share what seems to be text messages and emails that the NFL claims he has that he wouldn’t share. Who knows what’s on those? Maybe nothing bad, but maybe there is something bad. There are some costs to going to court and once you go to court, you’re not in control. This is no longer an internal process, you’re now part of a legal process that’s not always easy to get out of.”
|06.23.15 at 9:04 am ET|
There will be plenty of media coverage for Tom Brady‘s suspension appeal hearing Tuesday at the NFL offices on Park Avenue in New York City, even though it’s likely no one involved in the hearing will actually the media.
Below are photos posted to Twitter from the scene:
‘ STEVE BURTON (@STEVEBURTONWBZ) June 23, 2015
|06.23.15 at 8:39 am ET|
ESPN NFL insider Adam Schefter joined Dennis & Callahan Tuesday morning to talk about the latest with Tom Brady‘s four-game suspension appeal and what is next to come. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.
Brady’s appeal will be heard by commissioner Roger Goodell Tuesday morning, which goes against what Brady and the NFLPA requested. Schefter said the commissioner is in a tough spot.
“I think Roger Goodell is in a very difficult spot here going forward,” Schefter said. “I know that the league has taken a stand on all these cases and we’ve seen him weigh his [power] in all these cases, but I think this is a case somehow, someway, they’ve invested a lot in terms of the Wells Report. It cost the NFL upwards of $5 million for the Wells Report and we’ve seen the American Enterprise Institute and Science Times blow holes in it. Roger Goodell clearly buys into the Wells Report. Ted Wells’ work is widely respected by a number of lawyers. There are other people who don’t have that same respect for Ted Wells. Obviously, when you heard Ted Wells in the conference call you heard how angry he got.
“The point of it here is, is that they are going to sit in this room and they are going to go over the evidence and I can tell you that Tom Brady and the NFLPA believe that they did not do wrong. There are people who will say here that Brady will go after the commissioner and what will happen is that I think this is on a path to play out in the court of law and I don’t think that is going to go particularly well for the NFL because you’re not defending your actions in this case, you are questioning the process by which Tom Brady was suspended and there are going to be numerous arguments that he’s going to be able to offer in terms of the process by which he was suspended.”
When it comes to how much Brady will fight, Schefter suggested the QB will fight it to the end regardless of if Goodell reduces his suspension to even one game — Brady wants his name completely removed from the situation.
“I think generally speaking, this is how it’s been described to me: You want to know Tom Brady‘s mindset going into this, think the Tom Brady who is chewing out teammates on the sideline. In the middle of the game who is yelling at people, cursing, screaming, that Tom Brady,” Schefter said. “That is the Tom Brady we’re going to get here in today’s hearing and moving forward, whatever course that is. I think that Tom Brady is absolutely willing and determined to fight this, to see this through.
“He doesn’t believe he did anything wrong. I believe that this is on path to go to the courts. If it goes to the courts, they are questioning the process, not what he did, but the process by which this was done and I think at that point in time he has a chance to have this completely lifted, not serve any games. And if that is the case, why would he not attempt to at least do that?”
|06.23.15 at 12:00 am ET|
Tom Brady was suspended four games by the NFL over 40 days ago for his role in Deflategate and now he will have a chance to plead his case to have it reduced.
Brady and his legal team, led by Jeffrey Kessler, will meet with commissioner Roger Goodell beginning at 9:30 a.m. at the NFL Park Avenue offices in New York City Tuesday morning where Brady’s appeal will be heard. It’s also been reported Ted Wells will be present.
This leads us to our latest poll question: