Embattled New England Patriots quarterback, according to rumors reported by ESPN reporter Adam Schecter, won’t be taking his four-game Deflategate suspension sitting down. Brady reportedly has hired high-powered antitrust attorney Jeffrey Kessler, a move that will likely strike fear into the hearts of NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and other league bigwigs at 345 Park Avenue.
Schecter was interviewed on a national sports talk radio show Tuesday, saying that he received a text message from “somebody connected to the story in some some way,” referring to the ongoing Deflategate story. The text contained details of the Tom Brady legal team.
“Brady’s team is unreal I guess… Talented, big-name lawyers. Yee, Kessler, etc. Prediction = Won’t miss a game,” Schecter quoted the text as saying.
“Yee” refers to Don Yee, Brady’s agent, who has been outspoken in blasting the Ted Wells Deflategate report since it was issued last Wednesday, accusing Brady of being “generally aware” that two Patriots employees were probably deflating game footballs illegally.
While Brady has been largely silent since the Deflategate report came out, Yee has taken several media opportunities to attack the report as a hatchet job on Brady and to proclaim the superstar quarterback’s innocence.
But the key name in the text is Kessler. The 61-year-old attorney has spent more than two decades representing players and players’ unions against the NFL and other major sports leagues, scoring victory after victory.
Among his biggest wins, the 1991 case McNeil vs. NFL, in which the league’s restrictions on player free agency were thrown out, leading the NFL and its players to renegotiate a whole new, player-friendly set of free agency rules — essentially creating the current free agency system that has been highly lucrative for players.
Kessler more recently represented the NFL Players Association in its appeal of Goodell’s lifetime ban on Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice, who was caught on video knocking his then-fiancée out cold with a punch in the face.
The lifetime suspension was ultimately thrown out because Goodell had initially instituted a two-game suspension on Rice, and a Judge ruled that because Rice was truthful with Goodell initially, the commissioner had no basis to hit the player with a second suspension.
Kessler also played a major role in bringing Patriots Coach Bill Belichick to New England, representing the coach in 2000, when Belichick was bound by contract to the New York Jets. Represented by Kessler, Belichick sued the NFL and the Jets — and won.
Going back to 1981, Kessler fought and defeated the NFL in its effort to restrict NFL owners from also investing in professional North American Soccer League teams.
With Kessler on the Tom Brady team, many experts now believe that the New England Patriots quarterback may not have to serve any suspension at all.
[Image: Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images]