Tom Brady is the highest-profile player ever suspended in the 96-year history of the NFL.
New York — Roger Goodell’s decision is expected to be announced next week, and it is no longer a matter of if the NFL commissioner will suspend Brady, but for how long he will suspend him (see update below).
The Miami Herald reported Brady’s suspension could be as much as the entire 2015 season. Sources insist that is way off and not going to happen. There were reports in New England on Friday on CSNNE that the Pats fear Goodell could hit Brady with a six- to eight-game suspension. Others have estimated two to four games. Regardless of the length of suspension Brady will not be the starting quarterback in some of the team’s ballgames next season.
Pats Face Fines, Belichik Clean
Brady will not likely be the only one disciplined in DeflateGate. The Patriots could be fined, just as they were for SpyGate in 2007, when Goodell fined them $250,000 and took away a first-round draft pick. Bill Belichick, who was hit with a $500,000 fine for running his spying operation, is not likely to face sanctions because the Wells Report did not link him to the deflating of the footballs.
Clearly, any games Brady misses greatly reduces the chances the Patriots have of repeating as Super Bowl champions.
How Brady’s Suspension Will Affect Team
Obviously if Tom Brady is suspended for 16 games that would likely destroy New England’s season. Jimmy Garoppolo, who has thrown just 27 career passes, would get the nod to play QB.
However, the Pats have won in the past without Brady. Matt Cassell took the helm in 2008 and led the team to an 11-5 record.
Meanwhile, sources say NFL owners are watching closely how Goodell deals not only with Brady but with the Patriots as well.
Wells Investigation Jargon
The Wells Investigation’s constant use of “more probable than not” in explaining Brady’s role is the standard the NFL needed to find him in violation of the rules. The league considers that “as good as guilty” and just a way of phrasing it in legal terms.
“[more probable than not] is the standard of proof that the NFL has used for about seven years or so that means in English: they’re guilty. . . . This is not running through a stop sign, this is not speeding five miles over the limit. This is a serious competitive violation that has to be treated as such by the league.” — Bill Polian, former member NFL Competition Committee
No matter how many games Goodell suspends Brady for, the Jets’ chances of closing the gap on their long-time tormentors has just increased significantly.
Update: Brady Suspended 4 Games, Pats Pay Fine
The NFL announced Monday that Tom Brady has been suspended without pay for four games for violating the NFL policy on the integrity of the game. The team will also be fined $1 million and will forfeit a 2016 first-rounder and 2017 fourth-round selection in the NFL Draft. (You can read the full NFL statement here.)
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