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NFLPA ‘disappointed’ in Deflategate appeal ruling, vows to continue ‘fight for players’ rights’

04.25.16 at 12:55 pm ET
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The NFLPA issued a statement Monday afternoon in the wake of the decision in the Deflategate appeal hearing:

“The NFLPA is disappointed in the decision by the Second Circuit. We fought Roger Goodell’s suspension of Tom Brady because we know he did not serve as a fair arbitrator and that players’ rights were violated under our collective bargaining agreement.

“Our Union will carefully review the decision, consider all of our options and continue to fight for players’ rights and for the integrity of the game.”

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Read More: Deflategate, NFLPA, roger goodell, Tom Brady

Poll: What do you think of Tom Brady’s Deflategate suspension being reinstated?

04.25.16 at 12:52 pm ET
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What do you think of Tom Brady's suspension being reinstated?

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Read More: Deflategate, Tom Brady,

NFL hails Deflategate appeal ruling as a win for CBA

04.25.16 at 12:50 pm ET
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The NFL issued a statement Monday afternoon in the wake of their legal win in the Deflategate appeal hearing:

“We are pleased the United State Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled today that the Commissioner properly exercised his authority under the collective bargaining agreement to act in cases involving the Integrity of the game. That authority has been recognized by many courts and has been expressly incorporated into every collective bargaining agreement between the NFL and the NFLPA for the past 40 years.”

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Read More: Deflategate,

5 initial takeaways from the NFL’s win in the Deflategate appeal hearing

04.25.16 at 12:36 pm ET
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Tom Brady's four-game suspension for Deflategate was reinstated. (Andy Marlin/USA Today Sports)

Tom Brady’s four-game suspension for Deflategate was reinstated. (Andy Marlin/USA Today Sports)

1. This was a win for Roger Goodell on a number of levels, not the least of which is the fact that it reaffirms his spot as judge and jury under the most recent Collective Bargaining Agreement. According to the court, the decision was not about whether Brady’s was “generally aware” of what happened, only to determine whether or not the arbitration proceedings and award met the minimum six legal standards established by the Labor Management Relations Act. “We must simply ensure that the arbitrator was ‘even arguably construing or applying the contract and acting within the scope of his authority’ and did not ‘ignore the plain language of the contract.”

The decision continued: “In their collective bargaining agreement, the players and the League mutually decided many years ago that the Commissioner should investigate possible rule violations, should impose appropriate sanctions, and may preside at arbitrations challenging his discipline. Although this tripartite regime may appear somewhat unorthodox, it is the regime bargained for and agreed upon by the parties, which we can only presume they determined was mutually satisfactory.”

The 33-page ruling wraps up with this conclusion: “The parties contracted in the CBA to specifically allow the Commissioner to sit as the arbitrator in all disputes brought pursuant to Article 46, Section 1(a). They did so knowing full well that the Commissioner had the sole power of determining what constitutes ‘conduct detrimental,’ and thus knowing that the Commissioner would have a stake both in the underlying discipline and in every arbitration brought pursuant to Section 1(a). Had the parties wished to restrict the Commissioner’s authority, they could have fashioned a different agreement.”

Not sure I’ve ever seen a more plainly-worded defense of the most recent CBA as it relates to player discipline. While most CBA arguments over the years have centered around how to divide up the billion of dollars between the players and owners, you can be sure that the next time the CBA is up, player discipline and Goodell’s place as a disciplinarian will also be a major sticking point.

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Read More: Deflategate, Jimmy Garoppolo, Roger Goodel, Tom Brady

Federal court reinstates Tom Brady’s Deflategate suspension

04.25.16 at 11:42 am ET
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Tom Brady

Tom Brady

Tom Brady’s four-game suspension due to Deflategate has been reinstated by the federal court. He will be suspended for the first four games of the 2016 season, as of now since Brady can appeal.

The NFL won by a 2-to-1 decision. Judge Parker and Chin sided with NFL, while Judge Katzmann dissented.

This is from the ruling: We hold that the Commissioner properly exercised his broad discretion under the collective bargaining agreement and that his procedural rulings were properly grounded in that agreement and did not deprive Brady of fundamental fairness.

The judges said the decision was not based on whether or not Brady actually was involved in a ball deflating scheme.

“Our role is not to determine for ourselves whether Brady participated in a scheme to deflate footballs or whether the suspension imposed by the Commissioner should have been for three games or five games or none at all.Nor is it our role to second‐guess the arbitrator’s procedural rulings. Our obligation is limited to determining whether the arbitration proceedings and award met the minimum legal standards established by the Labor Management Relations Act,” judge Barrington D. Parker said in the decision.

The court based the ruling on powers given to Roger Goodell in the CBA.

“The Commissioner was authorized to impose discipline for, among other things, ‘conduct detrimental to the integrity of, or public confidence, in the game of professional football.’ In their collective bargaining agreement, the players and the League mutually decided many years ago that the Commissioner should investigate possible rule violations, should impose appropriate sanctions, and may preside at arbitrations challenging his discipline. Although this tripartite regime may appear somewhat unorthodox, it is the regime bargained for and agreed upon by the parties, which we can only presume they determined was mutually satisfactory,” Parker wrote.

Brady will now miss the first four games of the 2016 season — at Arizona and home against Miami, Houston and Buffalo.

For the full ruling, click here.

Read More: Deflategate, Tom Brady,

Even after Deflategate flap, Tom Brady still moves more merchandise than any other NFL player

04.25.16 at 9:55 am ET
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Tom Brady

Tom Brady

So much for the Deflategate scandal impinging on Tom Brady’s ability to move product.

According to a Monday announcement from the NFLPA, the Patriots’ quarterback finished first on the top 50 player sales list for the 2015-16 season, retaking the top spot from Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson. (Brady had previously held the No. 1 ranking for the first quarter of 2015.) Wilson dropped to third, while Denver quarterback Peyton Manning finished second.

It was believed by some that Brady’s perceived role in Deflategate would damage his reputation with the public, but the quarterback has not lost any of his high-profile endorsements along the way. In addition, Brady continues to be a regular presence at or near the top of most of these sorts of lists, including overall jersey sales.

Brady wasn’t the only member of the Patriots in the top 10 — tight end Rob Gronkowski finished eighth overall. Julian Edelman (23rd) was the only other member of the Patriots in the top 50.

The list is released quarterly by the NFLPA, via its licensing and marketing arm NFL Players Inc., and is based on overall sales of all licensed products from online and traditional retail outlets. The list is based on total sale of all merchandise from March 1, 2015 through February 29, 2016.

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Read More: Tom Brady,

Via Twitter, former Patriots teammates react to death of Ron Brace

04.24.16 at 6:54 pm ET
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Following the announcement that former second-round pick Ron Brace had died over the weekend, several of his former Patriots’ teammates took to Twitter to express their grief over his passing.

Read More: Ron Brace,

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