Some are reporting that the appeal of Patriots quarterback Tom Brady’s four-game suspension won’t be heard before Wednesday. That is correct.
Some are suggesting that Wednesday is the deadline for starting the appeal hearing. That is not correct.
Per a source with knowledge of the situation, the NFL Players Association interprets the operative language of Article 46 of the Collective Bargaining Agreement to require only that a date for the appeal hearing be set within 10 days after the appeal is filed.
The rule is a bit clunky. “Appeal hearings under Section 1(a) will be scheduled to commence within ten (10) days following receipt of the notice of appeal,” Article 46, Section 2(f)(i) provides. A fair reading of the awkward terms of the standard could be that the hearing itself must commence within 10 days after the appeal is filed. But if the union doesn’t interpret it that way, it’s not an issue.
And in this case the fact that the hearing won’t start by Wednesday isn’t an issue.