In a move that has shocked, delighted, and mortified NFL fans, Tom Brady won his Deflategate case. The landmark move has left Brady able to practice with his teammates and play against the Steelers next Thursday night.
On May 11, Brady was suspended for four games after an NFL-contracted report by attorney Ted Wells stated that the Patriots were involved in circumventing the Playing Rules. Tom Brady stood to lose payment for the first four games, for conduct detrimental to the integrity of the league. The Patriots were fined $1 million and will lose their first-round draft pick in 2016 and the fourth-round pick in 2017. Owner Robert Kraft decided not to fight the rulings.
Twitter reaction to Tom Brady’s situation was swift, humorous, and lively.
CBS Boston reports that U.S. District Judge Richard Berman ruled in Brady’s favor. The suspension was overruled and motion granted in favor of the Players Association.
“Based upon the foregoing and applicable legal authorities, the Court hereby denies the Management Council’s motion to confirm the Award and grants the Players Association’s motion to vacate the Award, thereby vacating the four-game suspension of Tom Brady, effective immediately.”
Odds surrounding the New England Patriots have changed dramatically since the decision. Brady’s odds at winning a third MVP trophy have improved from 20/1 to 10/1. The chances on Tom Brady winning another Super Bowl have also taken an upswing.
Commissioner Roger Goodell is expected to appeal the decision made in Tom Brady’s favor. Brady can still play during the process. The NFL under Goodell has been criticized for becoming quite a mess, especially when it comes to player discipline. Brady’s case is a prime example.
Goodell’s disappointment with the Brady ruling was summed up, in a statement from NFL.com.
“We are grateful to Judge Berman for hearing this matter, but respectfully disagree with today’s decision. We will appeal today’s ruling in order to uphold the collectively bargained responsibility to protect the integrity of the game. The commissioner’s responsibility to secure the competitive fairness of our game is a paramount principle, and the league and our 32 clubs will continue to pursue a path to that end. While the legal phase of this process continues, we look forward to focusing on football and the opening of the regular season.”
Patriots owner Robert Kraft released a statement confirming his belief in Brady. The surface may look clear but the legal battles will continue to loom during the season.
[Photo by Maddie Meyer / Getty Images]