The NFLPA has released the letter that general counsel Tom DePaso sent to NFL executive V.P. of football operations Troy Vincent notifying the league of Tom Brady’s appeal of the four-game suspension that Vincent handed down earlier this week.
In the letter, DePaso outlines several points that will be raised during the process and he starts with the argument that Vincent has no authority to impose discipline under the CBA and that any attempt by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to delegate the imposition of discipline is a violation of the CBA. DePaso also informs Vincent that the NFLPA plans to call both Vincent and Goodell, who has appointed himself to hear the appeal, to testify in the appeal hearing regarding “the circumstances surrounding the purported delegation of disciplinary authority” and the details of that delegation.
Because the NFLPA intends to have the credibility and testimony of Goodell and Vincent as fundamental parts of the hearing, they argue “that neither Commissioner Goodell nor anyone with close ties to the NFL can serve as arbitrator in Mr. Brady’s appeal under governing legal standards.” DePaso also warns that the union and Brady “will seek recusal and pursue all available relief to obtain an arbitrator who is not evidently partial” in the event that a neutral arbitrator is not named to hear the appeal.
DePaso’s letter also argues that Brady is not receiving the fair and consistent treatment mandated by the CBA and that the Wells Report is not sufficient evidence to use in support of a suspension.