|NFL VP Troy Vincent criticizes NFLPA for taking cases challenging Roger Goodell’s rulings to court||06.30.15 at 9:58 am ET|
In an interview with ESPN’s Ashley Fox, NFL executive vice president of football operations Troy Vincent was critical of the NFLPA in their decisions to take cases to court when challenging rulings set by commissioner Roger Goodell.
“Look at the amount of money being spent on legal fees for a handful of people,” said Vincent. “It’s millions and millions of dollars, and we’ve got players that are hurting. We’ve got young men who don’t know how to identify a good financial adviser. Men are in transition who aren’t doing well, and yet $8-10 million a year is spent in court fees about who should make a decision on someone, who in some cases has committed a crime.
“Think about that logically. Wouldn’t it be better to spend our time and resources on the issues that are vital to our players — past, present and future — such as the players’ total wellness and growing the game together?”
Vincent was the one who imposed the four-game suspension on Brady for his role in Deflategate. He defended his decision to Fox.
“Somebody has to protect the integrity of the game,” Vincent said. “That’s my responsibility, to protect and preserve the competitive fairness of professional football. That’s why our game is so great, because we protect the integrity of the game.”
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|Report: Don’t expect Tom Brady Deflategate appeal ruling for a while||06.28.15 at 2:46 pm ET|
It doesn’t look like the Patriots or Tom Brady will get an answer on the appeal of the quarterback’s four-game suspension until well after the July 4 holiday.
Brady attended all 10 hours of his hearing on Tuesday in New York City. The next step is the filing of post-hearing briefs, which are expected to be filed late this week.
According to multiple reports, Brady testified under oath during the proceedings on Tuesday before Roger Goodell, likely setting the table for a federal court appeal/injunction down the road, should Goodell not rule favorably for the Patriots quarterback.
What happens next?
After the post-hearing briefs this week, Goodell would have enough information to proceed and making his ruling. That’s not expected until sometime after the holiday weekend. Goodell would presumably need time to digest these briefs and then make a decision to keep, reduce or eliminate the four-game suspension altogether.
Well, that depends on who you read and listen to.
“I don’t know what the timetable is. I think we put in a very compelling case,” said Jeffrey Kessler, Brady’s attorney hired for this case.
Mike Garafolo of Fox Sports reported Friday that it would be some point “thereafter.” Garafolo suggested that means sometime in mid-to-late July.
“NFL commissioner Roger Goodell would need some time to digest these briefs and then make a decision to either keep or lighten the four-game suspension,” Garafolo wrote.
ESPN’s John Clayton indicated this weekend that it would be closer to the start of camp in late July.
Post-hearing briefs in Tom Brady appeal due late next week, sources say. Decision from Roger Goodell to follow at some point thereafter.
‘ Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) June 24, 2015
|5 thoughts on Tuesday’s Tom Brady-Roger Goodell sitdown, what it means for QB, commissioner going forward||06.24.15 at 12:49 am ET|
1. After almost 12 hours on Park Avenue on Tuesday — and no more hearings scheduled on the topic, according to NFL spokesman Greg Aiello — Tom Brady will sit and wait for a ruling from the commissioner on his future. How long would that be? Well, according to Article 46 of the NFL’s collective bargaining agreement, a ruling is required to be made “as soon as practicable.” (Nice to see that the same open-ended, vague language that permeated the Wells Report also applies to things like the CBA.) In other words, it could be a long time before we see some resolution here. By way of example, Cowboys defensive end Greg Hardy is at 26 days (as of Tuesday) after he had his hearing last month. It’s entirely possible that Roger Goodell could go into slowdown mode here, as the calendar is starting to work against the Patriots as it relates to preparing for the 2015 season. (One thing to consider here, and I’m only half-joking: Maybe the greatest opportunity for a news dump of this magnitude would be to hold it until Friday, July 3 at 4:59 p.m. The Friday before a long holiday weekend would be an excellent way to minimize things for both sides. Just some food for thought.) “I don’t know what the timetable is,” NFLPA Jeffrey Kessler told reporters when things let out at the end of the day, “but I feel like we made a very compelling case in there.”
2. Now, after Brady went through his defense on Tuesday — and apparently was incredibly cooperative — the ball is in Goodell’s court. Brady’s legal team likely made the argument that there was no proof of any sort of Brady’s involvement in a plot to deflate the footballs, as well as some of the faulty science employed by Ted Wells. Then, there’s also the matter of the punishment not fitting the infraction; when Brett Favre wasn’t forthcoming with his phone in 2010 after a texting scandal, the league fined him $50,000 and sent him on his way. If arguments like this cause Goodell to have a change of heart, he could also reduce the suspension to one or two games, a wholly possible option at this point. It seems unlikely that he’d wipe it clean off the books for several reasons, not the least of which it would be very hard to justify that decision based on the $5 million the league paid Wells for the probe and results. (One more thing, specifically as it relates to Wells: ESPN’s discovery of new information in the Pete Rose case included old footage of John Dowd, who spearheaded the initial investigation into Rose and his gambling when he was the Cincinnati manager. The Dowd Report was an unquestioned takedown of Rose, an ironclad document that left no doubt to Rose’s guilt. The contrast between Dowd’s work and the lukewarm language in the report put forth by Wells when it came to Brady and the Patriots was jarring.)
|Report: Tom Brady goes deep to score in 10-hour hearing, coming across as ‘an A-plus, 10 kind of guy’||06.23.15 at 11:09 pm ET|
Maybe, just maybe Tom Brady won’t be serving any time after all.
After a report from ESPN’s Adam Schefter, it sounds like Brady did himself proud in his 10-hour hearing before NFL commissioner Roger Goodell to appeal his four-game suspension for his role in Deflategate.
Schefter reported the following Tuesday night, following a 10-hour hearing before Goodell, NFL attorney Jeff Pash and the author of the Wells Report, Ted Wells.
“I was told Tom Brady was his greatest ally. He was in that room the entire time and came off, on a scale of 1-10, in the words of a person in that room, as an A-plus, 10 kind of guy,” Schefter reported.
“He gave sincere, genuine answers. He had an explanation for everything that went on in the Wells Report, and anyone who knows and has dealt with Tom Brady knows how genuine he can be. I’m told that genuineness shined through during the course of that appeal, which I think is going to make life more difficult for Roger Goodell to make a decision on.”
The two sides agreed to a confidentiality order from the Commissioner, meaning the details of who said what during the 10 hours of testimony and discussion will likely not be made public until Goodell renders his decision.
But, as Schefter’s report shows, that didn’t keep some from attesting to the tone of the proceeding, which may be just as important as the content and information that was shared.
It’s unknown just how long it will take Goodell to consider the information and testimony collected Tuesday in New York.
‘ Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) June 24, 2015
The Tom Brady appeal hearing concluded tonight after 10 hours of testimony. No further hearings are scheduled.
‘ Greg Aiello (@gregaiello) June 24, 2015
Many questions about Tom Brady‘s appeal & how it went down. It may come out eventually. But confidentiality order might mean we have to wait
‘ Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) June 24, 2015
|Ian Rapoport on MFB: ‘If [Tom Brady] cooperates and is forthcoming, a reduction is very realistic’||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.”
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.”
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