NFLPA sues NFL and Management Council in Minnesota

Getty Images

On Tuesday, the NFL filed a four-page lawsuit against the NFLPA in Manhattan. On Wednesday, the NFLPA filed a much longer lawsuit against the NFL and the NFL Management Council in Minnesota.

The 54-page petition requests that the the United States District Court for the District of Minnesota vacate the arbitration award in the Tom Brady case, arguing that the four-game suspension “defies” the Court’s decision in the recent Adrian Peterson case, “ignores” the “law of the shop” and essence of the labor deal, and “gives the back of the hand” to fundamental principles of “procedural fairness and arbitrator bias.”

The Peterson case is relevant because, according to the NFLPA, Judge David Doty concluded that the NFL is required to give players advance notice of potential discipline.

“Brady had no notice of the disciplinary standards that would be applied,” the petition says at page 3, “and no notice of the potential penalties.”

The petition also points out that the league and the NFLPA collectively bargained the punishment for “alleged equipment tampering by players,” and that the NFL was not permitted to disregard those provisions without advance notice.

The petition likewise explains that the “Competitive Integrity Policy” was “never given” to players, and that it specifically applies only to teams, not to players.

As to the allegation that Brady failed to cooperate with the investigation, the NFLPA argues that “a fine is the only penalty that has ever been upheld in such circumstances.” (In 2010, Brett Favre was fined $50,000 for failing to cooperate with an investigation regarding allegations that he texted inappropriate photos to a Jets employee.)

More generally, the petition claims that the discipline violates the “law of the shop” that requires fair and consistent treatment of players by basing Brady’s discipline on air-pressure tests that “did not generate reliable information,” and that the arbitrator (Commissioner Roger Goodell) was “evidently partial.”

As to the discipline based on air pressure, the NFLPA notes that the NFL first issued procedures for ball pressure testing only three days ago — “a stark concession that it had no procedures in place when the data on which Brady’s punishment was based was collected.”

At page 8, the petition calls the 20-page ruling from Commissioner Roger Goodell “little more than an exercise in rehashing the [Ted] Wells Report,” and accuses Goodell of making “unfounded, provocative and mystifying attacks on Brady’s integrity.”

As to that point, the NFLPA dusts off the ruling of former Commissioner Paul Tagliabue in the bounty case of 2012, who found that the NFL has never suspended players solely for obstructing an NFL investigation: “In my forty years of association with the NFL, I am aware of many instances of denials in disciplinary proceedings that proved to be false, but I cannot recall any suspension for such fabrication. This is no evidence of a record of past suspensions based purely on obstructing a League investigation.”

Right or wrong, the fact that the NFL doesn’t, and hasn’t, suspended players for such behavior arguably means that the NFL can’t suddenly start doing it, without collective bargaining. Which means that the NFL technically cannot suspend Brady for failing to cooperate — and that no players can be suspended for failing to cooperate until the NFL secures the ability to do so at the bargaining table.

The document also contains a lengthy quote from the statement provided on Wednesday by Patriots owner Robert Kraft. Which really isn’t surprising. Kraft’s verbal challenge to the league office sounds a lot like the kind of rhetoric for which NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith often draws criticism.

This time around, the union Smith runs and the team Kraft owns have one big thing in common: They agree in their mutual strong criticism of the NFL.

98 responses to “NFLPA sues NFL and Management Council in Minnesota

  1. “In 2010, Brett Favre was fined $50,000 for failing to cooperate with an investigation regarding allegations that he texted inappropriate photos to a Jets employee.”

    Notice how the NFL failed to punish let alone address the workplace sexual harassment only the failure to cooperate. That mistake will echo for years.

  2. The NFL should tell the Federal Court that they had all kinds of evidence proving Brady’s guilt but they told their assistant to destroy it. But promise to tell the NFLPA the names of all the people that knew what the evidence was and they can just interview them — Roger Goodell, Ted Wells, Troy Vincent….

  3. Brady reminds me of that little kid who gets caught next to an empty cookie jay with crumbs and chocolate all over his fave and you say, “Tommy, did you get into the cookies?” and his response is, “nuh uh.”

  4. canetic says:Jul 29, 2015 8:16 PM

    The NFL should tell the Federal Court that they had all kinds of evidence proving Brady’s guilt but they told their assistant to destroy it. But promise to tell the NFLPA the names of all the people that knew what the evidence was and they can just interview them — Roger Goodell, Ted Wells, Troy Vincent….

    This move to the courtroom has nothing to do with phones and messages and evidence about that . Thats done for all intents and purposes.this court hearing is about Goodell and his authority and how he once again made up the rules as he went along. Look I been following the Patriots for 40 plus years. Did something happen ……YUP…..Did Goodell handle it right …NO ….and this isnt his first failed over seeing of a investigation……..peace all

  5. No accusing the NFLPA of being “unseemly” for filing in Minny? So it’s unseemly for the NFL to file in NY, where the NFL offices are located, but it’s not unseemly for the NFLPA to judge shop to Minny?

    The bias continues to stun

  6. canetic says:Jul 29, 2015 8:16 PM

    The NFL should tell the Federal Court that they had all kinds of evidence proving Brady’s guilt but they told their assistant to destroy it. But promise to tell the NFLPA the names of all the people that knew what the evidence was and they can just interview them — Roger Goodell, Ted Wells, Troy Vincent….

    Excellent question that is gonna make all the difference in the world really. Minny held the last one with Peterson.the NFL wants to keep it in NY which is why they fired a preemptive strike with filling first….

  7. Patriotsdefense, the NFL could not prove it. And a picture of Little Brett, does not effect the public’s confidence in the game. There are two separate issues. If you read Goodell’s ruling, Brady’s punishment is consistent with PED users and first time offenders.

  8. So the league was filing in NY at the same time they were telling Brady the suspension that Goodell dished out was being upheld by Goodell?
    Just another “look over there” sucker punch by the “shield”.
    Even with the CBA language favoring the NFL, I just don’t see how they can not overrule this with the “law of the shop” and just basic fairness of fundamental worker rights.
    The number of missteps by the league is only outnumbered by the blatant attacks on Brady, much of it not exactly truthful.

    If Brady is there on opening night, the start of the league season,
    it will be the biggest F U party in the history of mankind.
    Goodell and his underlings will have earned front row seats to that one! Enjoy!!!

  9. .
    Kessler has made a compelling case. The fact that it attacks Goodell on many fronts will make it difficult for the NFL to defend.
    .

  10. The NFLPA is a joke, just like every other union.

    People who actually think the NFLPA gives even half a crap about the players are either lazy, happily unemployed, stupid, or not smart enough to realize that the union is taking money from the players and will not do anything to help the players out.

    Even Patriot fans should realize this.

  11. patriotsdefense says:
    Jul 29, 2015 8:15 PM
    “In 2010, Brett Favre was fined $50,000 for failing to cooperate with an investigation regarding allegations that he texted inappropriate photos to a Jets employee.”

    Notice how the NFL failed to punish let alone address the workplace sexual harassment only the failure to cooperate. That mistake will echo for years.
    ———–
    Also notice how that had nothing to do with breaking the rules of the game to gain an advantage on the field… again.

  12. Regardless of how one might feel about Brady and the Patriots, surely it is plain to see that the NFL is running a kangaroo court.

    One which I imagine a judge in a real court (where fairness, logic, science, evidence, precedent & proportionality all ought to prevail) would be only to happy rebuke and dismantle.

  13. Probably won’t matter since the case will likely defer to the suit filed in NY.

    Either way, it opens up a can of worms belichick would probably rather left closed.

  14. Even if the NFLPA gets Goodell’s ruling tossed on the grounds he was impartial, Brady’s innocence is still not vindicated UNLESS AND UNTIL Doty or whoever rules on the SUBSTANCE of the case.

    For how rich Brady is, he should hire another lawyer to monitor the strategy of these NFLPA lawyers. Brady’s interests are not completely aligned with the union’s.

  15. CBA gave Goodell no rights to Brady’s phone. Brady provided all information possible without violating the CBA and setting a precedent other players in the union would be forced to live with. Goodell punished him for it, basically arguing that the CBA only gives benefits to the League and not the NFLPA. It’s really quite striking — that a bargained for benefit by the players can be turned around into a weapon by the League. I imagine a pro-union judge will take a dim view of such things.

  16. I think the NFLPA has a pretty strong case here. Sounds like the NFL is trying to rule and enforce things outside their jurisdiction. It’s a strong play at least by the PA.

  17. All you need to know in one paragraph.

    On June 8,2415, Goodell held the arbitration. ,See NFLPA Ex. 204. The
    hearing defied any concept of fundamental faimess. Prior to the hearing, Goodell had
    ruled that Brady and the Union could not question essential witnesses, denied them
    access to the investigative files underlying the Wells Report (which were nonetheless
    available to the NFL’s counsel at the arbitration), and summarily rejected Bradys
    unlawful delegation argument without considering any evidence (other than ‘facts”
    decreed by Goodell himself in his decision.

  18. Roger Goodell used the Patriots to get his reputation back as an enforcer and it is backfiring terribly.

    He will never be welcome in Foxboro again. Enjoy that Roger.

  19. Saints all gave their phones, Ravens all gave their phones, Brady gave a phone (that conveniently had nothing on it, even though he gets rid of his phone every few months)….”Failure to cooperate constitutes conduct detrimental to the league” used to appear in Deflategate articles all the time, before this place went Full Tawmee.

  20. NFLPA has an ironclad case. Knucklehead can’t just mete out punishments at his whim. The CBA gives him the right to punish, but says nothing about those punishments not needing to be applied evenly.

    When you bargain and sign a contract that states the fine for ball tampering is 25k, you can’t fine millions (in lost pay from suspension) because you threw in “not limited to” language. It has to be reasonable. That’s what contract language is.

    And a judge also has to consider that this applies to the team, but may not even apply to a player who only “knew” it was occurring.

    This may be why all you hear from the league lately is how Brady didn’t cooperate. They may know there is no meat in the tampering punishment angle.

    Then the judge gets to decide if the employee is even guilty. Not likely since the science is a joke and the only evidence they have is that a guy called himself the “deflator”. That might be enough evidence for an internet troll, or Rog the Clown, but judges have a higher standard of proof. Like actual proof.

  21. Isp, the union always has something to gain by going to court. Even if they lose. However the NFL always win, even if the lose. The only person here who will lose even if he wins, is Brady.

  22. Seriously – how do you cry about “not wanting to set a precedent” when you did give them ONE phone, just not the phone they wanted. Give me a break.

  23. Brady was denied access to investigation files, despite the fact that NFL had access during appeal.

    The law firm of the independent investigator also questioned witnesses for NFL during appeal

    And NFL lead counsel gave notes on wells report before it was released but was not made available for questioning by brady during appeal

  24. Be careful what you wish for pats fans, I remember when Al Davis sued the NFL and won. and its been raining yellow flags ever since.

  25. Ladies & Gentlemen, this is what happens when an lawyer runs your cherished NFL. Whether you agree or not with Mr. Kraft – he was correct when he stated that you sometimes need to get the lawyers out of the room.

    Somewhere, Mark Cuban is smiling…

  26. For this case to be handled without bias you need the court to be somewhere that has no knowledge of professional football. Which actually makes Minnesota the perfect choice.

  27. Imagine if all the money and effort spent and to be spent on this was used for academic scholarships ?

  28. “Brady had no notice of the disciplinary standards that would be applied,” the petition says at page 3, “and no notice of the potential penalties.”

    The petition also points out that the league and the NFLPA collectively bargained the punishment for “alleged equipment tampering by players,” and that the NFL was not permitted to disregard those provisions without advance notice.

    The petition likewise explains that the “Competitive Integrity Policy” was “never given” to players, and that it specifically applies only to teams, not to players.

    If the above complaints by the NFLPA were not true then why would Roger Goodell be trying to push Brady’s punishment through as a competitive advantage violation in line with PED use? I thought that was a stretch when I read it yesterday but know it makes sense reading the NFLPA’s complaint.

  29. Have you ever written a paper you did not research for? Well, think of Brady’s position as the class pet position and the NFL submissions as the class clown. The Nefarious Fraudsters League is outmatched by actual brains.

  30. Judge Doty is on the hot seat right now regarding the Peterson case. Rumor has it, that Peterson case is going to be overturned with a reprimand to Doty for interfering with the CBA.

  31. patriotsdefense says:
    Jul 29, 2015 8:15 PM
    “In 2010, Brett Favre was fined $50,000 for failing to cooperate with an investigation regarding allegations that he texted inappropriate photos to a Jets employee.”
    Notice how the NFL failed to punish let alone address the workplace sexual harassment only the failure to cooperate. That mistake will echo for years.

    *** *** *** *** ***

    Not really considering in order for there to be sexual harassment, there has to be a victim. Jenn Sterger never claimed she was sexually harassed. There was no sexual harassment.

    Not only did Tom Brady cheat, but he tried everything he could to cover it up after the fact. Please never again try to compare Tom Brady, a life long cheat, to Brett Favre, the guy who loved the game so much.

  32. The Peterson case… OK. Next move could be to put Brady on an exemption just like Peterson was. They are the ones that brought it up. And could be shooting their own foot.

  33. “He will never be welcome in Foxboro again. Enjoy that Roger.”

    Oh, He’ll be welcome. Go ahead, ….make our day, Roger.

  34. “Stiller43 says:
    Jul 29, 2015 8:20 PM
    Sorry. You gave goodell the right as arbitrator. You can live with it now.”

    You think that even the haters would not want to see an arbitrator be devious and make a mockery of the process. I guess that is too much to ask. Thankfully, the courts are there to rule whether Goodell, despite the NFLPA’s weak CBA position, violated the law and precedent.

  35. No accusing the NFLPA of being “unseemly” for filing in Minny? So it’s unseemly for the NFL to file in NY, where the NFL offices are located, but it’s not unseemly for the NFLPA to judge shop to Minny?
    ===
    There’s case law in the district and circuit that is germane to the case at hand. It’s cited in the filing.

  36. therealbillybuffalo says:
    Jul 29, 2015 8:21 PM
    How awkward will it be if the Pats repeat?

    ———————————-

    If they do, I hope Kraft holds out his hand full of rings for Roger to kneel and kiss, that is assuming Rog is still employed by the league at that point.

  37. Probably won’t matter since the case will likely defer to the suit filed in NY.
    ===
    Don’t be so sure, and even if it does, I’m sure that the NFLPA has access to a word processor to change the header page and the cover page.

  38. Gimme, the science was not proved to be a joke. Brady brought in his experts and they stated their reasons why the Wells report was basically wrong. The NFL countered that all the points were considered in the Wells report and the balls were determined to be deflated by tampering. The experts Brady brought in did not conduct any experiments. When this goes to court, it will be that the balls were tampered with.

  39. Ironically, Belichick has probably been the most forthcoming and sincere and everyone has ignored him. He told everyone in his Mr. Wizard presser that the Pat’s manipulate the balls so they’ll drop a little during game conditions. Why would a paranoid organization like the Pat resort to sneaking around with deflating needles after the ball had been checked? They wouldn’t unless that was their Plan B. My hunch is the balls in question weren’t tampered with, but there is tons of evidence that implicates the Pats made sure the balls were prepped in a way that, like coach said, made them fit Brady’s specs to a tee. The league wanted to bust them, but without good evidence, they resorted to a sloppy investigation and a bogus paper trail. The Pats respond with arrogance of their own, knowing that when the process plays out, they’ll get their day in a real court and most likely Tom will be on the field. The rest is all a PR battle that strokes egos and raises ratings. I think that as long as Bill is on the sideline and Tom is behind center, the team doesn’t really care what the world thinks. And Goodell, who know’s what drives that man? To all my fellow tarnished Patriot fans, goodnight.

  40. The Peterson case… OK. Next move could be to put Brady on an exemption just like Peterson was. They are the ones that brought it up. And could be shooting their own foot.
    ===
    Nope. Read the CBA and NFL Bylaws. The commissioner can’t unilaterally put players on the exempt list. A player and or team have to request that a player be placed on the list and the commissioner has may do so.

  41. Awhile back, Ted Wells made a statement that it was ridiculous to think the NFL would want to tarnish their marquee player, Tom Brady. Many people agreed with him. Alas, the facts prove him wrong. The NFL has been on a 6 month disinformation campaign attacking Brady. The NFLPA is correct, Goodell has mae “unfounded, provocative and mystifying attacks on Brady’s integrity.”

    Could it be that Goodell, Jeff Pash, and some “influential owners” want to teach Brady a lesson? When the NFL locked out the players in 2011, the players responded by dissolving the NFLPA and announcing it no longer represented the players in collective bargaining, clearing the way for class-action lawsuits against the NFL. The antitrust suit, known as Brady et al vs. National Football League et al, attacked the league’s policies on the draft, salary cap and free-agent restrictions such as franchise-player tags.

    Kraft broke the lockout and Brady’s name will forever be on that lawsuit. Maybe, just maybe, they want to tarnish his name and that action.

  42. Looks very suspicious that Goodell deferred arbitration in other cases to a third party but that he insisted on coveting that role for Brady. Very suspicious.

  43. Technicalities aside…..something fishy happened. Brady, BB and eventually Kraft knew.

    Did NFL have enough evidence if at all? Prob not

    Does CBA give Commish the “power”? I guess

  44. it’s pretty funny, one of the richest NFL players cheats and lies about it and then he uses the players union to file his lawsuit. So all the other players who don’t cheat are paying for his defense. You can’t make this stuff up. Wow the Patriots are just a bunch of bottom dwellers …

  45. Nothing about where either side filed is surprising. They are both seeking (gasp) ‘competitive advantage.’ The real news today was Bob Kraft blasting the league office while it is in an obvious power struggle with the NFLPA and the union’s filing brief including quotes from his statement. One of the most influential owners in the NFL and the League Office has botched it to the point where he has gone from acquiescing to the NFLPA having him in their corner? Fasten your seat belts folks it’s going to be a bumpy ride.

    However you see it deflategate or deflectgate and whatever way this plays out in the end one thing is certain. There will be blood. And probably at least one head on a stick. No matter how or why this turned into a dog and pony show it has clearly morphed into much, much more. Damn I miss when football was about…football

  46. Face it, attorneys and PR people are danged good at what they do.

    Each time I have heard a volley from one side, I have said “AHA!”

    furthermore, “Legal experts” are like weathermen or doctors – you shop around for one that says the things you like, then somewhere down the line, somebody explains to you why what you eventually happenned was right all along.

  47. Article 46 Section 1(a) provides for PLAYER discipline for “conduct detrimental to the
    integrity of, or public confidence in, the game…” That is your notice right there, if you as a player engage in that kind of conduct you are subject to discipline.

    If Brady is complaining about vagueness in the CBA about the standard of proof, he should be asking those guys from the NFLPA sitting right next to him why they approved the CBA with that language.

  48. Tom is going to get a lot of resentment from other players over this if he is not footing the bill. Would the union be doing this for a lesser player, they all pay the same dues

  49. Anyone else notice that nowhere within the filing does it state that he is innocent of the cheating charge??!!??!! It talks about punishment precidence and procedural arguments. But it doesnt question his GUILT!!!

  50. I truly believe that Kraft is considering the thermonuclear option. He now realizes it is 31 vs 1. He has nothing to lose. At worst he gets kicked out, which may not bother him as he probably feels betrayed. Slim chance, but if he were successful, he would destroy the league as we know it. His best bet would be going after the antitrust aspect, although he does have a couple of other options. It wo u led become every team for themselves. Half the teams would fold. I think Roger is to smart for his own good. He is counting on Kraft to fall back in line. Just like he counted on the Patriots organization being a step behind on the PR battle. The only way NE wins this war is to do something that Roger never anticipated them doing.

  51. Can we all remember one thing here: the patriots kicked the crap out of the colts, especially in the second half when the balls were “legal.”

    Also, Brady was the super bowl mvp and threw 4 TDs!!

    Keep that in mind when you talk crap about my boy TB12

  52. The Peterson ruling by Judge Doty in MN is still under appeal by the NFL and, from what I’ve read, is likely to be overturned. Doty overstepped his bounds.

  53. It’s too much to expect the Patriots to follow the same rules as the peons of the league. They’re the Patriots, dammit! To punish them for failing to follow the rules is just, well, un-Patriotic. If the punishments stand, the terrorists win. God bless ‘Murica!

  54. Did anyone notice Tod Lieweke was named NFL COO a few days ago?

    Goddell’s successor?

  55. Judges judge. They rely on precedent and a sense of fairness. If the NFL appears to have acted in an “unfair” manner, a judge will find a way to overturn the punishment.

    This “negotiation” is a high stakes game that is unfolding in plain view of the public and at the detriment to the league. This is why Kraft what he did about how to negotiate.

  56. when the smoke clears there will be a new commish.. “more probable than not”..the second you hear that ridiculous statement making a new standard of american law…reasonable doubt and actual evidence no longer matters.

  57. Rumor has it that … in the NFL’s hurry to file in New York before the NFLPA filed in Minnesota, they forgot to sign the flippin application. LMAO!!!
    11 of 12 deflated more than two pounds??
    Using Stephen A. Smith as their mouthpiece??
    Brady destroyed his phone???

    It’s unbelievable that the NFL offices need to operate like this!!

    How many of you Patriot haters laughed and said “that’s BS” … when Goodell said he never saw the Ray Rice tape and that the tape was lost in the NFL offices???

    Well congratulations… that makes you all the biggest hypocrites ever!

  58. I just dont see how Goodell can call himself a leader when he is engaged in a nasty PR battle with one of the games leading ambassadors and a first ballot hall of famer on incredibly sketchy facts and allegations.

    That the NFL filed a pre-emptive lawsuit in NY after delaying for weeks, saying they were still studying the issue when in fact they planning a legal strategy, then announcing the decision a day early, which allowed them to quickly file in NY before the union could file in MN, and coloring that announcement with misleading PR on the phone destruction.

    Is Goodell a leader or a vindictive, power-hungry lunatic?

  59. Can u believe air in a football has come to this? I’m sorry, but I can’t get past the fact that the NFL and the league is playing more of a PR game than doing the right thing.

    Florio et al…..would it be possible for someone…anyone to ask Mortenson why he and ESPN won’t retract or correct his initial report of the footballs being 2 lbs. underinflated? Why does no one hold them accountable….that report is the genesis and end all for all of this and the haters stopped reading any FACTS. There is no doubt in my mind that this was a witch hunt. No proof of anything. Kraft screwed up by accepting any punishment and thinking the “league” has any integrity. Goodell must go, he does not.

  60. The judge who will oversee the case in New York is a liberal judge appointed by Bill Clinton. Most liberal judges side with the union. Take that Goodell

  61. so let’s see what someone who actually knows something about the legal system as it pertains to the case has to say.

    Question: Will Brady succeed in court and stop the NFL from suspending him for four games?

    Lester Munson: No, Brady will not succeed. Although he enjoys top-of-the-line legal representation and his lawyers will file a brilliantly written lawsuit, his effort to stop the suspension is doomed. There are two reasons why: First, federal judges are reluctant to reconsider the rulings of arbitrators; second, Goodell produced a decision on Brady that is brilliantly reasoned, meticulously detailed, and well-written. Goodell’s recitation of the evidence of the tampering with game balls is powerful, and his description of Brady’s attempt at a cover-up is persuasive.

  62. Q: Why are federal judges reluctant to reconsider an arbitrator’s decision?

    Lester Munson: If federal judges were to offer reviews of arbitrator decisions made throughout the nation, their dockets soon would be filled with arbitration cases. Throughout American business and industry, there are agreements to submit disputes to arbitration. It is viewed as a less-costly and more-efficient way to resolve issues. It avoids the expense and the endless delays of litigation. An essential element of any arbitration is that it is final and cannot be reviewed.

    Federal judges understand the theory behind arbitration, and they are already inundated with criminal cases and thousands of civil lawsuits. They know that an arbitrator has considered the evidence, and the judges do not want a second look at the evidence. Even when the arbitrator is totally wrong, most federal judges will not reconsider the ruling. In a notorious case involving former Los Angeles Dodgers baseball player Steve Garvey at the U.S. Supreme Court in 2001, the high court ruled that even when the arbitrator’s decision is “improvident or even silly,” it does “not provide a basis for a court to refuse to enforce” the arbitrator’s decision.

  63. I am not a lawyer but the stuff in this article looks pretty damning for the NFL. All along the league office has looked like a circus of fools but the question has been whether the CBA gives the commish enough power to disregard precedent. It doesn’t look like it. It looks like Kessler will have Goodell bent over and grabbing his ankles for a long time. That is a happy thought but it offers no vindication for Brady. Prevailing science says no footballs were ever tampered with but the lax NFL protocols make certainty impossible. We will know more after the new protocols go into place but the truth will never be guaranteed. I want Brady, McNally, Jastremski, Goodell, Wells, Exponent, Columbia U., Vincent, Kensil, Irsay, Bisciotti, Kraft, Belichek, Grigson, and Pash all on the stand, all under oath, and all opening up relevant electronic data. The NFL made this a “thing” so lets do it. Lets finish it, get the truth out there, put it to bed, and get back to football. I am pretty sure there is enough embarrassment to go around. And if I were a betting man I would say that Brady would come off better than the rest.

  64. Q: But didn’t a federal judge recently reverse an NFL arbitration ruling for Adrian Peterson?

    Lester Munson: Yes. U.S. District Court Judge David Doty in Minneapolis, who has presided over NFL litigation for 25 years, reversed the punishment imposed on Peterson. He based his ruling on what he thought was an egregious error by the NFL arbitrator — the application of a new and harsher penalty to an incident that occurred before the adoption of the new penalty. The case is on appeal, and the NFL is likely to prevail in the appeal with the high court reminding Doty that federal judges should stay away from reviews of arbitrators’ rulings.

  65. How is the Minnesota District Court relevant here? Do they really just get to shop around for a judge they like, and file in that district?

    I get why it was relevant for the Peterson case, since it involved the Vikings, but shouldn’t this one be heard in New York or Massachusetts?

  66. Q: What will Brady’s lawyers argue in their attempt to reverse Goodell’s ruling?

    Lester Munson: Led by the estimable Jeffrey Kessler, the Brady legal team will argue that Brady did nothing wrong, that the Wells report failed to establish that Brady had a role in the inflation of the game balls, that the penalty is too harsh, and that Goodell was not a neutral arbitrator. None of these arguments offers a compelling reason for a judge to reverse Goodell’s decision. All of the arguments were raised in detail in the arbitration hearing, and Goodell answered each one of them in exquisite and persuasive detail in his 20-page opinion. It is difficult to imagine a judge reconsidering any of them. The players gave away the idea of a neutral arbitrator when they voluntarily agreed in collective bargaining that the commissioner would make the final decision in conduct detrimental cases.

  67. Q: What evidence led Goodell to confirm the four-game suspension?

    Lester Munson: Goodell relied on evidence the Wells investigation, the 300 exhibits offered in the daylong hearing, and 450 pages of testimony. He also relied heavily on information that he did not learn during the hearing. Kessler and the NFLPA said there was no need for testimony from John Jastremski and James McNally, the Patriots employees who were involved in the machinations that led to the deflated game balls. The NFL attorneys argued, according to the Goodell opinion, that Goodell was entitled to make an “adverse inference” from Brady’s failure to present key witnesses. Goodell went beyond the adverse inference and made a finding that both men lacked credibility in the statements they made to Wells. The Brady legal team also admitted that McNally had “more than enough time” during his famous 100-second visit into a locked bathroom to do what was necessary to deflate the balls.

  68. Q: Was there other evidence that was important to Goodell?

    Lester Munson: Yes. Brady’s refusal to cooperate with the Wells investigators and his destruction of his cell phone on the same day that he was to be interviewed by Wells were extremely important in Goodell’s decision. Goodell said that the destruction of the cell phone was “very troubling.” He added that it was clear that Brady made an “affirmative effort to conceal relevant evidence and to undermine the investigation.” And Goodell took his reasoning one step further when he wrote that Brady’s destruction of the phone “gives rise to an inference that information from his cellphone, if it were available, would further demonstrate [Brady’s] direct knowledge of and involvement with the scheme to tamper with the game balls, just as he concealed for months the fact that he had destroyed the cellphone requested by the investigators.”

  69. Q: What was Brady’s biggest mistake?

    Lester Munson: There was more than one. There is little doubt that Brady blundered when he refused to cooperate with the Wells investigators by turning over his phone and his text messages. He made it even worse when he destroyed the phone. And then, incredibly, after he had destroyed the phone, he and his lawyers suggested to Goodell that Brady routinely destroyed his old phones when he purchased a new one. The problem was that the Wells investigators had already found an old phone that Brady had not destroyed. But the worst mistake was a series of phone calls and text messages on the day after the Indianapolis game with Jastremski and a visit with him in the “QB Room.” Goodell, in a brilliant passage in his masterly opinion, explained that the frantic calls in the three days after the game showed that Brady “was undermining efforts by game officials to ensure compliance with league rules.”

  70. all the Pat-heads are barfing up the typical “get ready for Brady to win” and “he’s got an ironclad case” lines but you guys are really reaching

    The NFLPA and Players agreed to a CBA that left the NFL with complete discretion to do what it felt fit at any time and no obligation to either A) be consistent in it’s behavior or B) adhere to the rule of law as it applies in criminal cases

    result?
    – the NFL need not afford any player this ridiculous “due process” claim
    – the NFL can summarily suspend or dismiss any player whom it simply PERCEIVES is damaging the NFL brand

    you guys have been watching too much Law and Order and TB can be suspended or canned at will by the NFL for any reason that they feel hurts the brand or integrity of the game

    TB looked at videotape of runthroughs,
    – videotape of defensive signals,
    – participated in a scheme to play the shell game with eligible receivers in an attempt to cheat the opposing defense of a fair opportunity to oppose him in fair play as expected by the rules,
    – pulled the tuck rule “I meant to do that” thing, and
    – laughed as the Pats used a snowblower to clean off the field for 3 points

    it’s a cheating organizational culture and TB leads it…. and this so called dynasty will end up with a string of asterisks a mile long… TB will forever be remembered for being a cheat

  71. I just read the full petition and honestly I think Brady/NFLPA has a really good chance of getting the suspension thrown out no matter if the case is heard in Minnesota by Judge Doty or if it stays in New York.

    The petition points several issues with the procedures taken by the league and Goodell that fail to comply with the scope of the CBA. Most compelling were the arguments concerning the league’s failure to give Brady advance notice of potential discipline (the Peterson rule), that the “Competitive Integrity Policy” applies to the clubs not the players, the CBA’s existing fine-only punishment for equipment violations, player non-cooperation never being punished by suspension, and Goodell’s lack of impartiality as arbitrator.

    The underlying facts and evidence (or lack of evidence) concerning deflation of footballs probably won’t need to be addressed at all. Brady would love to have his name cleared in terms a connection to actual deflation issue but that’s unlikely to be the conclusion of the judge.

  72. So Tom Brady had no notice that cheating was not allowed and that he would be punished for it? Good grief. Brady and these lawyers should be locked up for being such ridiculous arguments.

  73. Sad. I really had hoped the NFL would have shown some integrity by admitting its own failure in this fiasco. Admitting that it had no real protocol for ball handling in place for the AFC game, that it had no idea about the “Ideal Gas Law” until Belichick brought it up. That it had not taken Colts seriously and let them down when they should have been more vigilant in their handling of their expressed concerns. That it’s science is weak at best and could not conclusively say the balls were mishandled or for that matter that they were below what the “Ideal Gas Law” would permit. That even if they were below PSI levels of Colts balls that it was generally less than a fraction of 1lb and would not make sense that such a miniscule amount would be part of a subversive plan by anyone, including a halfwit equipment manager. Sad.

  74. One of these days Goodell is going to really get hammered for his tyranny. I thought it might be the time was at hand on how he muffed the Ray Rice ruling but he skated threw that. One of these days he is going to get a DWI or something and it will bring the his lofty attitude back to earth. Integrity of the shield=Joke

  75. I’m naught a Patriots fan but Brady needs to play in that game one against the Steelers. He’s the Supperbowl MVP and he should be on the field to walk through that championshispy gate and get the trophy. He’s a four time winner and the Patriots fans feast on the tears of haters who gotta get out the rule book and figure it out.

  76. Why the District of Minnesota? Them isn’t from there. The league isn’t from there.

    the desperation from brady and his moron advisors is pathetic.

    #Busted

  77. Sadly, ALL the clicks from you pat brats who have put your life on hold and park out here means nothing.

    You will continue to be disappointed.

    #justice
    #karma
    #nocheating

  78. Message to all players from your union.

    Go ahead act like idiots. We can just run to court in Minnesota and get ya off.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.