Brady gets a slam-dunk win

AP

The 40-page ruling is out, and it’s clear that the win for Tom Brady was a slam dunk. Or maybe a ball-deflating Gronk spike.

Judge Richard M. Berman delivered a near-total victory for Brady and the NFL Players Association, finding that the NFL can’t suspend Brady for knowledge of a deflation scheme because Brady was not placed on proper notice of the possibility of a suspension for such conduct. Judge Berman also adopted the observation from former Commissioner Paul Tagliabue in the Saints bounty scandal regarding the fact that the NFL has never before suspended a player for obstructing an NFL investigation.

So basically Brady can be fined at most for the two infractions, but he cannot be suspended.

It’s a complete and total win for Brady and the NFLPA (with one exception noted below). Judge Berman also found that Commissioner Roger Goodell should have allowed the NFLPA to call general counsel Jeff Pash to testify at the appeal hearing, and that Goodell should have given the NFLPA equal access to the files generated by “independent” investigator Ted Wells.

The only good news for the NFL is that Judge Berman stopped short of addressing the question of whether Goodell was “evidently partial” in the appeal process or whether Goodell improperly delegated his initial authority to punish Brady to executive V.P. of football operations Troy Vincent.

The NFL has the right to appeal the decision. We’ll have more on how that process works in a later post. For now, I have to go make sure PFT Commenter isn’t taking any liberties with my farm animals.

313 responses to “Brady gets a slam-dunk win

  1. Brace yourself if you know any Patriots fans because you’re never going to hear the end of it – whether you asked (or even care) about it or not.

  2. Just to set the record straight, the Judge did not say that Tom Brady was innocent or didn’t cheat. Only that Goodell didn’t give him due process.

  3. Brady in the 4th quarter of this, and the haters are surprised he’s kicking ass. Do they even watch football?

  4. Justice has been served.

    It’s a shame Gooddell will most likely be in power for another 5 years until the next CBA.

    Fellow Pats fans, remember to think twice the next time someone from an opposing team is suspended – there’s a good chance there’s no reason for it.

  5. I hope this ruling takes the wind out of Goodell’s massive ego, so we can focus on the new football season and put all this DeflateMess behind us.

  6. Can’t wait to hear from all of the amateur legal analysts that have been chanting “C-B-A” for the last month.

  7. This does not mean Brady is innocent, let’s make that clear.

    Second, Miami, Buffalo, and NYJ, I hope you thrash Brady.

    Sincerely, another fan fed up with the cheating Patriots.

  8. This whole thing seems kind of muddled to me.

    Conflicting authority.

    He said – She said.

    Time to put it behind and get on to playing the games.

  9. Sad day to see a cheater beat the system. All of us know he was in on it – and sadly he beat the system. But in the end this will hurt him more than serving a suspension

  10. .
    Berman didn’t have to put it in writing. His decision clearly points to a skewered process.

    Who designed the process? Goodell, solely and exclusively.
    .

  11. We know who cheated, that would be the NFL with help from sore losers from Baltimore & Indy.

    The judge said so. Right from day 1 he knew this was a setup.
    Everyt bit of information from the league and their mouthpiece ESPN was bogus and the judge knew this form day 1.

    Brunelle, Bettis, Carter et al. Anything to say now?

  12. The judge could have easily addressed about 20 other points, but didn’t need to. The whole “investigation” was ludicrous, and embarrassing for the NFL. Good for Brady and the Patriots. Let the crying begin

  13. just watched a couple segments of ESPN (which I don’t normally do, but just had to) and it seems they are “Obviously Extremely Disappointed” in this too

  14. While Brady, the Patriots organization, and their fans may be happy this ruling has long term implications affecting the integrity of the game. That is to say that players may legally skirt the rules and then avoid penalty through the judicial system. Since the precedent has been set other teams could follow suit since punitive actions in response to rule violations no longer have the same weight and, again, the Patriots are allowed to keep their titles despite violating the spirit of proper gamesmanship. Feel free to disagree but the fact remains that the NFL is now a tainted product.

  15. A bad day for Goodell, Pash, Kensil, Gardi, Vincent, Harbaugh, Grigson and Ted Wells is a great day for America!

    And if you think it’s a bad day then you can add your name to that hideous list above!

  16. Regardless of what happened, what did not happen, bottom line this is done. Move on.

    P.S. Goddell, you just got the best Christmas present in September you could ever ask for…

  17. Should have suspended him on the grounds of “conduct detrimental” would have stuck. Wholeheartedly believe he knew what was going on and even asked for the balls to be on the low end…. but I also knew he would be playing the whole season which is why I drafted him as my fantasy QB 1. Its sad when a guy who smokes weed, which is legal in some states, gets more punishment than a guy who puts the integrity of the game in question.

  18. Proof you can’t make up evidence because your the Commish. Federal Law trumps all…
    See you week 1 Steelers

  19. He may have won today, but in the court of public opinion, he will go down as a guy who hired a bunch of high priced lawyers, whined and complained, and found a legal loophole that trashed the League’s ability to police it’s own. You voted for the Player’s Union Contract Brady, you should have taken your lumps like everyone else…..

  20. In other words, he’s a cheater, but unions paid for my legal career so I’m going to let him off on a technicality.

    The ruling says nothing about the fact that he was caught cheating.

  21. This feels like winning the Super Bowl all over again! This goes out to Tom Brady and everyone else who’s ever been railroaded because they were envied or unpopular.

  22. After all the personal information from his phone that somehow was leaked – although he destroyed it – it is obvious why he destroyed it.

    The question now is how many phones NFL owners and officials are destroying – especially Ted Wells.

    The next phase – probably after another successful season for the Patriots – is a massive defamation of character suit. Given Judge Berman’s decision, the discovery on that suddenly becomes more interesting – Pash and Wells will be required to testify.

  23. GOOD!–for the rest of the AFC East, that is…now, Brady has none of that bogus “motivation” to stick it to Pats opponents; now, the Bills and Cowboys (and maybe Steelers…the Jags? Hmmmmm…) will have extra motivation to throw Dareus, Hughes, Mario, and the Cowboys D at him…wait til week 8 when Suh and Wake get their chance, and then there is Wilkerson and “Snacks”); most importantly, there is NO WAY Brady can ever again throw deflated balls! And can the greatest Te ever, Gronk, CATCH non-deflated balls? We’ll see…heck Jarvis Landry surely can!

  24. So once again we’ll never get to the core truth of the matter and settle the issue once and for all, did Brady knowingly cheat or not, because we are playing the “technicality” game, in this case “because Brady was not placed on proper notice of the possibility of a suspension for such conduct.” Pathetic…

  25. “The deference due an arbitrator does not extend so far as to require a district court to countenance, much less confirm, an award obtained without the requisites of fairness and due process.” — Judge Berman (citations omitted)

  26. Idiot run NFL opened it up when they let QB’s feel up the balls(!) before games, yet stupid enough to not think about other equipment issues such as greased up linemen jerseys, sticky gloves, and the like. To get overly involved with all the money and time spent on an issue such as this is farcical but indicative of current NFL leadership. Owners, this is your man in the office, now what?

  27. He was never going to lose in the first place. Perfect PR story to carry NFL viewers through the off season. Bravo NFL! Looks like someone in the marketing dept is getting a promotion! Bingo.

  28. Hey tooloftools, the destruction of the cellphone has been explained by two different plausible motives that have nothing to do with concealing incriminating evidence.

  29. … that the NFL can’t suspend Brady for knowledge of a deflation scheme because Brady was not placed on proper notice…

    That’s all you need to read. All that happened is a cheater got away with it.

  30. Here’s one fact we can all agree on: the judge did not deem Brady to be innocent of the charges. Specifically, the judge said on page 20: “An arbitrator’s factual findings are generally not open to judicial challenge, and we accept the facts as the arbitrator found them.” Thumbs down if you want Pats fans but this ruling does not EXONERATE him.

  31. The most pathetic part of this was that the Patriots clearly benefitted from the correct call in the tuck rule and that changed everything.

    The fact that there was so much hatred for Brady & the Pats as a result of this eventually manifested in trolls bringing their marriage into this speaks volumes about the pathetic haters who have been holding their torches & pitchforks and lying about them for 15 years now.

    Justice prevails. Brady said he did nothing wrong and the judge agreed. See what happens when you have a fair hearing?

  32. so you can still cheat, AND obstruct the investigation, and if the obstruction is effective you don’t get in trouble. Good job setting a precedent Tom

  33. If the Judge was going to overturn the suspension, they why would he have allowed Brady to settle with the NFL for a 1 or 2 game suspension without admission of guilt? Couldn’t the settlement delay have been avoided by just overturning the suspension in the first place?

  34. It is weird how most court cases play out on technicalities. More about due process, etc. instead of guilt or innocence. Maybe I watch too many TV shows where I expect a yes/no binary answer.

  35. This should come as no surprise….to anybody that READ anything about the case.

    ie, the destroyed phone was a carrot the NFL put out in front of the donkey.

  36. The NFL Liars could have won and the Pats still would have been in the AFC Championship!!! # allwedoidwin! Ha

  37. Tom Brady had a QBR of 70.5 for that game against the Colts. With an interception and a 65% completion percentage. It’s not like he threw a perfect game. Whether the ball was slightly deflated or not (<~1-2 psi). So maybe he had slightly better grip on the ball. With Brady's 9 3/8" hands this comes down to more of a personal preference than a competitive advantage for the game whether the ball was slightly deflated or not. All of you armchair quarterback clowns are making a really big deal out of nothing.

    Signed Not a Patriot fan and Not a conspiracy theorist. Let's get on with the 2015-16 Season please.

  38. I’m not a Pats fan, but thank God reason finally prevailed. And thank God Goodell got it handed to him again in court. Every decision he hands down is overturned, going back to Vilma. He makes up rules as he goes along.

  39. I feel like this is the LEAST likely outcome of all of this. I expected the judge to either rule half-and-half and reduce the suspension, or more likely uphold it completely.

    To completely vacate the suspension is kind of a shock, to be honest. Regardless of which way you felt it SHOULD have been decided.

  40. All the haters are going to say “this doesn’t mean he’s innocent”. However if the judge upheld the suspension they would point to that as proof. What makes him innocent was the fact that there is zero proof. But I love the fact that you are all so jealous of the pats. Lol

  41. And the trolls heads are all about to explode as evidenced by some of these comments. The final straw for them will be when they see the pats play in the next SB. Love it!!!

  42. What Floor is the NFL office On? Somebody better call EMS/NY Fire Dept,,because R.G. is going to be taking a header out the window any moment….

    HATERS HATE

  43. As a Phins fan, I am happy with this. Why? Because when the Phins win the division this year, the Pats whiners can’t claim it was only because Brady was out.

  44. I’m happy Brady gets to play, because I don’t believe in the actual benefit of deflated footballs, however, this doesn’t vindicate Brady from being a cheater, the suspension was overturned on procedural technicalities, meaning the NFL messed up the process. Brady didn’t actually win, the NFL lost.

  45. What a joke, He destroyed the evidence. CHEATER!!!! HE will get his due when snubbed for the Hall of Fame I guess.

  46. The NFL is going to have a difficult time enforcing punishments from now on. Players will just go to court and get decisions overturned. That’ll be fun.

  47. Yet another winning record for the GOAT

    Joe Montana was never under investigation, so yeah = winning record still.

  48. Cry baby gets his way again…it’s just like Obama…does what he wants with ZERO consequences…lie, cheat…we all know your guilty ya punk!!!

  49. Just read the ruling and it definitely looks to be written with an eye towards a possible appeal. Prior notice, process and fairness were lacking, this will effect all future appeals as well. The No Facts League wanted a precedent, unfortunately for them they got one.

  50. The important takeaway is to get a shovel in the hands of those accusing Brady of cheating. I am hopeful the can figure out which end goes into the dirt. Hopefully, some self awareness maybe reproduction isn’t the best thing for the species as a whole in regards to Goodell ‘ s minions

  51. This win says that Goodell’s clown court didn’t follow appropriate procedures. Those saying Brady is still guilty should realize that if they put this joke of an investigation into a real court (you know, where experts can testify, not just Wells, the magician from Frosty the Snowman), Brady would win in an even bigger landslide.

    And everyone that lives in the North eastern US that gives this a thumbs down, think about this post when you are putting air in your tires in late November.

  52. Berman also refers to Wells’ investigation as an “independent” investigation, including the sarcastic quotation marks. If you think this was just a procedural ruling, you are wrong.

  53. “FINALLY justice for the greatest of all time.
    The best football player who has ever played, period.”

    A very good QB, but NOT the best football player ever. Not by a long shot.

  54. I think this was the best outcome even if it wasn’t necessarily the correct decision. I hope the judge addressed some things in his ruling. He needed to address the level of discretion Goodell has when enforcing discipline.

  55. For those who keep posting that the judge didn’t say Brady was innocent, he also didn’t say the NFL was right.

    Hi jurisdiction was not to try innocent or guilty. It was more based on procedure & contractual obligations.

  56. Brady plays all 19 games this year and hoists another SB Trophy. Roger the Loser Goodell…where you going to be 9/10/15….not at Gillette and you will be push to the backgroud in San Fran.

  57. let me put it another way:

    I’d hate to have to explain to a young Pats fan why even though their favorite player cheated and took steps to cover it up that we should be happy that he isn’t being punished.

    A little hypocritical, no?

  58. Haters can’t help themselves.

    The bottom line is that the investigation was a farce to begin with. The NFL had nothing so they hired a firm they could depend on to give them whatever “conclusion” they needed.

    Ted Wells should lose his law license over this.

    I’ve said before, all this fake indignation – your team stretches every rule, they cheat in ways you and I can’t even imagine, yet point fingers at everyone else.

    In professional sports as in investment banking, you do what you gotta until you get caught. Then you try something else.

  59. And still the NFL really hasn’t resolved the fundamental issues of balls that got them into this mess. Two teams responsible for their own balls begats different balls. Either accept it or change the rules and have them all play with the same dang ball.

  60. Goddell had the power, he just exercised in an improper and arbitrary way….he over-reached and has on been told it does matter how you conduct hearings, assign punishment etc….

    when you agree to an arbitration and then the arbitrator rules against you, it is very difficult to get that ruling over-turned—-but it happened here

  61. These 4 games could be misery for Brady. I sense IK could break his jaw and I think Tommy may get 15 yards for delay of game trying to pick up his teeth.

    Can’t see the league suspending or fining someone for running Brady?

  62. I don’t like or hate the Pats but always felt this deflate-thingy was a non-issue compared to much more serious offenses committed in the past by certain other Super Bowl winning teams. Things like cheating on the salary cap and training o-linemen to engage in chop-blocking which endangers careers.

  63. The inmates offcially run the asylum. Thanks Pats.

    The Pats still lose in the court of public opinion.

  64. Goodell did more damage personally and made Tom Brady’s summer a summer of hell. His behavior was outrageous and any disparaging remarks to Goodell made by Judge Berman will never make Tom Brady whole. As TB says, the haters will hate.

  65. This was a publicity stunt, no more, no less.. Kept the NFL in the news since before the Super Bowl.. I bet Brady got paid a ton!!!!

  66. Brady did it. Anybody with a brain and an ounce of integrity knows that.

    His legacy will forever be tainted.

    But let’s just play football. I’m tired of this whole thing.

    And Pittsburgh is going to throttle them next week anyway.

  67. NFL will appeal. Berman ruled outside his prevue of the case. It will go to a 3 man judge panel and will change. This is only the beginning. In addition, Ray Lewis was exonerated of murder too. How was his reception when he went to 31 other cities? Brady will get the same…

  68. Is there anybody that Tom Brady can’t beat? Montana only ever beat other teams. Brady beats other teams (except the Giants) and the NFL! Clearly the goat
    -not a pats fan

  69. I must admit I am surprised by the ruling. With that said, I figured Brady would not miss game 1 one way or the other. It’s a shame how far this went. How does the NFL proceed now on future discipline cases? Seems like this ruling has opened up another can of worms.

  70. It was plain to see, after all the reports and testimony, and the revealing of the smear campaign by the NFL, where they were largely depending on winning the battle in the court of public opinion, with their “leaks” to their puppet station ESPN and their “NFL Insiders,” that Brady was innocent. All that remained to be determined was if Goodell and the NFL could solidify a stranglehold on the players using the CBA. APparenlty Goodell forgot that even in a poorly constructed CBA, you have to be fair. That’s something the NFL has not been since Paul Tagliabue left town.

    Good for Brady. Good for the players. Now if some of the players could just lean from this and tighten up their own behavior.

    The owners went after the biggest fish in the pond, and lost. Brady wins again.

    The Legend Grows…..

  71. Do you hear that? It’s the beautiful sound of Jets, Colts, Seahawks, Dolphins, Bills, and Broncos fans crying in the corner with Goodell lol

  72. Even if he didn’t cheat, he was aware of it, obviously. He has to be notified that if he becomes aware of cheating he should report it? Isn’t that common sense and part of the social contract we all adhere to?

    If I see a crime or violation occurring at my workplace that costs my company image and/or money and I don’t report it am I not also responsible for a portion of the damage done?

    Judge decides Brady doesn’t have to act like a reasonable, rule-abiding individual unless he’s properly notified to do so. Absurd!

  73. “Then why did he destroy his phone?
    THAT is my issue.”

    He destroyed his phone because:
    1. The NFL told him they did not want his phone
    2. His Lawyer and Agent told him to destroy the phone and
    3. He was concerned about his privacy.

    Any other questions?

  74. GET OVER IT !!!

    345 Park Ave. made a mistake in evaluating the football/ PSI readings, not realizing footballs, tires, etc. LOSE PRESSURE when the temp. drops.

    From there, it became a comedy of errors as first the NFL “leaked” false information to ESPN.

    Then the NFL sent an e-mail to the Patriots again reporting false pressure readings on the footballs.

    When the truth came out… the NFL stonewalled by refusing correcting their mistakes.

    From there, Roger the Dodger let it spiral out of control, trying to cover up the Witch Hunt.

    Someone will be sacrificed from NFL headquarters over this fiasco, hopefully Goodell, but more likely a few of his stooges.

    Once the NFL took this into Federal Court, they were doomed. Why the owners allowed this to happen is the 64K question.

    Wonder if Brady will file suit ?

    Keep watching, don’t think this is over with yet.

    😉

  75. I believe Brady is guilty AND I believe this is the right decision. The NFL has been acting like they are above the law and this is the huge slap in the face that they have needed for a long time.

    FACT: The NFL attempted to suspend Brady for TWO acts they have never suspended a player for in history:

    1) Tampering with footballs. The penalty for this is very clear and established: 25k fine. The precedent for this was when Brad Johnson was caught red-handed tampering with footballs DURING SUPER BOWL WEEK and received that fine as punishment.

    2) Obstructing an investigation: As Tagliabue explained, the league has never suspended a player for this and did not do so to several players in the bounty gate scandal who had CLEARLY obstructed the investigation.

    The league has been making up the rules as they go along and considered themselves impervious to scrutiny and sanction. Well, so much for that, arrogant fools. They’d better figure it out.

  76. I seem to recall Steelers players stating that “they actually WANTED Tom to be able to play Week 1, but you know, he’s suspended, so oh well…” or something equally foolish.

    Well now he CAN play Pittsburgh Steelers! Yay!

  77. Unfortunately, no matter who won, all we’ll get is a ton of articles here plus an appeal. OH, THE HUMANITY!!

    Regardless, people will still think he is a cheater or that he is not cheater, etc., just like before. Nothing will probably change.

    In other news, and more important news, the regular season is upon us.

    I am not a Brady fan, but enough is enough, already.

    ARE YOU READY FOR SOME FOOTBALL!!!!

  78. The Patriot haters never cease to amaze.

    Brady got off on a technicality? You do realize the reason this was overturned was because the league was completely unfair and the facts didn’t back up the punishment? The league itself said it has no direct evidence linking Brady to the offense.

    No evidence, no fairness, no guilt

    The right decision was made.

    I also don’t understand why people still don’t understand the phone issue. As soon as his emails were made public, it was front page news that he paid $9grand for a pool cover and wasn’t happy about it. You also saw some comments about Peyton. I wouldn’t let my phone be taken if I was told I didn’t have to turn it over and I’m not a celebrity like Tom. Could you imagine any nude pics of Giselle or himself, or any hookups, or teammate hookups, any disparaging comments about teammates, his wife, Belicheck? Anything. Also, you had texts from the ball guys to Brady. If you have one side, you have it all. You have the communication back and forth, so there was nothing else to see.

  79. the fact that he got off, does not make, Brady Belichick and Kraft any last guilty or any less of a scumbag than they are! It’s obvious that Bob Kraft ones the NFL completely from his office and even criminal activities like that of Belichick are allowed to get by without any repercussions! The ones clean and wholesome look of the NFL has been permanently damaged and is now starting look like the corrupt corporation it has become people like Wellington Mara, George halas, Art Rooney and are rolling over in their graves! As Vince Lombardi said. So famously.” What the hell is going on out there!” Good question Vince good question!

  80. Berman basically said that if Goodell wants to suspend a player, he has to play fair. That’s going to be a tough pill to swallow for Roger.

  81. His reputation is still tarnished beyond repair. It’s obvious he cheated, and that stain will never go away.

  82. Obvious outcome that the NFL wanted.

    They wanted to look like they’re enforcing the rules but Goodell really didn’t want to touch Brady.

    Kraft still admitted guilt, by action.

    OJ isn’t innocent either.

  83. And Roger Goodell gets a royal toilet-flush loss.

    If Goodell had gone after Brady for failing to cooperate, he would have had a case, and the suspension would have held. But using the Wells reports was a colossal mistake.

    Goodell does not have the competence to hold his post. He needs to step down his ego won’t allow for that. The owners need to remove him now, for the good of the game and the league.

  84. Can’t we all just try and get along and realize the Patriots are the best organization in football.

  85. It just proves cheaters always prevail…you can’t honestly tell them that sneaky bastard didn’t know they were letting air out of the balls…come on as mythical as he is he didn’t know what was going on???…please if you don’t believe it then your as stupid as the judge was maybe he didn’t deserve 4 games suspension but he deserved some time off..I think his skinny twiggy wife told Tom to hold on after the hearing and she walked in judges chambers and dropped to her knees and blew the judge or Kraft did…lol…How much money Kraft did you donate to the judge???

  86. Losers: Goodell, Kensil, Mortensen, Wells, ESPN
    Winners: Brady, Kessler, NFLPA, Patriots fans, CBS, NBC

    Robert Kraft might be a loser for the team fine, loss of a first round pick, and the disgrace he brought for selling Tom Brady down the river. The Patriots were hit hard, very hard.

  87. This is a win for the NFL. It’s going to be much better on Sunday mornings if Tom Brady is in uniform. Nobody really loses. ESPN had the story correct from the beginning. The judge isn’t saying Brady didn’t cheat. And he is getting fined for cheating. They’re just saying he wasn’t warned ahead of time. The NFL has adopted a “Brady rule”, and will keep a closer eye in the footballs. It’s a win-win.

  88. I think the NFL should just let this go. It’s not like this ruling takes away Goodell’s power to suspend players who were arrested for various crimes or were found to be cheating with solid evidence. It does seem to send a message to players that they can do whatever they want to an NFL investigation to make sure the investigation fails and nothing will happen to the player.

  89. Glad Brady won. It’s too easy – even as a Bills fan – to root against him, but not this time. Goodell looks more and more like a chump every time a new story comes out.

    Besides, if Rex and the Bills really want to gauge this new team of theirs and see where they stand in the division, then there’s no better barometer to get the season rolling than the week 2 matchup against the Pats – with Brady, not that other clown.

  90. NFL in bad shape now. Just proves Patriots are bigger than the NFL and the rulebook. So either Goodell looks the other way as they continue to cheat. Or he gets fired and his replacement will be afraid to discipline the patriots because he will be fired.

  91. “Compounding Brady’s prejudice is the fact that, as noted, Paul Weiss acts as both alleged “independent” counsel during the Investigation and also (perhaps inconsistently) as retained counsel to the NFL during the arbitration.”

  92. Haters have now become professional whiners. Hope you all get banned from your mothers basements.
    Get over it, losers.

  93. For the Haters who complain that Brady was not declared innocent, that onus belongs on the NFL for its shoddy fake investigation.

    If the NFL was really intent on ivestigating cheating, they would have tested all of the balls with a certified pressure meter before the game, at halftime, and after the game. That would have included testing ALL of the Colts balls instead stopping any further testing when they found out that 3 of the 4 Colts balls tested showed illegal low pressure levels most likely from being out in the cold weather or by design to accommodate Colts QB Andrew Luck.

    Furthermore, the NFL should have ensured the chain of custody of each ball so there could be no question if the Colts doctored the Patriot ball they kept possession of for an extended period of time before submitting it to the officials.

    Because the NFL had an agenda to “get” Brady and the Patriots, they conducted an Inspector Clouseau type half-assed farce of an investigation that makes it impossible to ever determine if there was any illegal deflation or if Brady was involved.

    Haters, you can blame the NFL for wasting away a possible opportunity to “get” Brady. Next time, haver your conspirators do a better and proper CIS level job in trying to nail Brady.

  94. Note directly for Roger!
    1. Hire better/more capable people. You were poorly served by: Wells, Pash and Vincent. They put you in a no win situation to uphold their shoddy work.

    2. Give up the right to be the sole judge and jury. Working on three losses in-a-row (Rice, Peterson, and now Brady) you clearly do not possess the capacity to fill that role. Besides neutrality when deciding punishment should be first and foremost.

    3. Stop listening and being influenced by the owners when it comes to anything your investigating. They know even less than you.

    4. Gain consistentency, although one could say you have established a pattern of consistent behavior, albeit on the wrong side of the judgments. The toughest thing for any leader to be is consistent.

  95. JUSTICE !

    Even if you feel ball tampering happened (even as Pats fan, I think something happened) BUT it was not that big a deal. Should have been a fine at most. If you feel anything more then that the “hate us cuz you aint’s us” applies to you!

    Berman notes same type of ball tampering happened in 2009 with Jets kicker Jay Feeley. NFL suspended ball boy, never investigated him or disciplined him. IT’S THE SAME ISSUE.

    No one cared though, right? Wonder why?

  96. Ok. I know this has been pointed out earlier in the comments but Berman never said Brady was innocent. With the way the Patriots fans seem to be calling everyone else “jealous haters” who “wish you had the best qb of all time”, claiming that this proves Brady was “always innocent”, etcetera, you should read it one more time.

    “Judge Richard M. Berman delivered a near-total victory for Brady and the NFL Players Association, finding that the NFL can’t suspend Brady for knowledge of a deflation scheme ”

    Brady got off because there is no precedent to punish him via a ban for his participation and/or knowledge in the scheme. He did not get off because it was apparent he was innocent. Two very different things, and I would be surprised that Berman wouldn’t have clarified that if he believed Brady to be innocent.

  97. Predicting PSI with the Ideal Gas Law is multiplication and division in an equation with 3 known variables, solving for a fourth variable. It’s that f–king simple, people.

    The fun part for those of us who got an A in Chem 101 and/or are not intimidated by science & math… Exponent actually said, that after natural pressure drop, the balls were two-tenths of a PSI lower than they should’ve been. Which means Beavis must have let out two-tenths from each ball.

    Riiiiggghhht….

    I’ll be at Gillette enjoying that banner rising and thinking of you, haters 🙂

  98. There is so much here.

    We have a documented history of the Patriots cheating. It is not like this was the first time and a benefit of the doubt could be used to look the other way.

    Brady destroyed his phone. Even if he wasn’t evading the discovery process, this looks suspicious. Given he is part of a cheating regime, he gets no benefit of the doubt here.

    The Patriots Ball Boy(s) took the balls into a restroom and spent considerable time there. Unless all of the balls needed to potty, this is suspicious. Given that this regime is a documented cheating one, the benefit of the doubt is thrown out the window.

    I am no fan of Goodhell. He’s a jerk.

    But this is an outrageous outcome. If you cannot escalate penalties as the lawlessness increases in the league, then why have a sanctioning body? What we now have is a situation where it is fine to avoid and disobey an investigation and to conduct yourself in an illicit manner to win games.

    We’ve seen this happen in NASCAR with the Jimmy Johnson team being caught and penalized for cheating no less than 14 times while winning championships. They were recently caught cheating again this year but the penalties were tossed out on appeal.

    In some sports, it matters that you are the biggest ones with the highest profile -you can cheat and win. Anyone else has another set of rules.

  99. Big win for Florio too. He was early on the idea that “Deflate-Gate” was a SHAM. As a Steelers fan, he was less than objective about the Pats in the past. I have to say he let it go and focused on the facts. A voice of reason in a sea of Jerry Springers. Nice work.

  100. Sometimes you can win a battle, and loose a war.

    Without a doubt, the NE Cheaters is the NFL’s most hated team. There is very little doubt of cheating, just some administrative errors during the investigations records keeping. Again, on their 4th major cheating scandal, they managed to dodge the bullets, but still leaves little doubt on their dubious activities.

    But paying the price, will be another matter.

  101. LMAO. The entire ESPN crew looks like their mother died. Its frickin hilarious. Roger Cossack their other crack legal expert, I dont see how the Judge ruled this. lmao.

    Bob Ley, Nobody expected this. LMAO. Really anyone with a brain and ethics expected this.

    What a bunch of crooks they are over at BSPN

  102. Ha, Cheating Jets, tripping players, recording, deflating and overinflating footballs, plants in the NFL office. Still couldn’t beat the Pats. Now it’s Payback time on all the NFL. SB 50 should be fun!

  103. I’m not a Pat’s fan, but I actually applaud this decision. I actually can’t stand the Patriots, but it was obvious that deflating the footballs gave them no competitive advantage. After the balls were checked and properly inflated, they went on to rout the Colts and then beat Seattle in the Super Bowl. To me, it was always a non-issue that was blown way out of proportion.

  104. Wow……. I would’ve understood if Goodell had been the one to reduce or eliminate the suspension how one would perceive Brady and the Pats got away with another one, but it was a judge that was basically picked by the NFL which was in New York of all places. They overstepped theirboundaries and misled the Pats organization by either falsifying information or omitting information which would’ve possibly cleared him I.e bad measurements,withholding information and not allowing people pertinent to the case to testify.Conclusion, blame the NFL for botching this from the beginning.

  105. “you can’t honestly tell them that sneaky bastard didn’t know they were letting air out of the balls”

    Yes I can, because basic science tells us that NO AIR WAS LET OUT OF THE BALLS! JC, when the foundation of your argument is flawed, all else becomes irrelevant.

    If someone is accused of murder and has a text message that says “I killed Bobby!”, but later Bobby shows up and says “Hi”, clearly alive and well, do you continue to insist that the person is a murderer because of the text message? Do you think that maybe you took the text message out of context?

  106. The other win for the NFL is that this doesn’t vindicate Brady, it only makes the statement that the punishment is not in alignment with the past.

    Brady can still be fined, which is indicative of guilt. You don’t get fined if you aren’t guilty.

  107. I still can’t believe the level of stupidity on here. The judge told you Brady did not cheat. The judge then vacated the suspension because the process reaching that conclusion was flawed.

    If the NFL did a fair investigation then neither Brady or Pats would have ever been punished, because LIKE THE JUDGE said: There was no evidence!!!!!

  108. I really feel bad for all the Patriot haters . They didn’t get the results they hoped . Unfortunately they do not understand football and therefore came up with their own misguided conclusions and have no idea of what really happened . The NFL mislead everyone and was leaking out the wrong info . The haters soaked this info up like a sponge and posted these lies continuously . Now the real truth has come out and the haters are in shock . It just goes to show they can’t handle the truth , the truth hurts . Face it , the Patriots have been the best overall team in football for a long time and you have no glue on how to beat them . My only reply is ” GET ON BOARD “

  109. The thing most important here ? Another bogus Ted Wells investigation crashes and burns in federal court. I can’t believe the NFL has paid this clown over 15 million dollars for three reports that in the end ( most recently Jonathan Martin admiting he had me stam fitting in problems since the age of 10) were found to be bogus

    What a waste of time, money and patience. NFL should now sue Wells for being an idiot.

  110. I love seeing the level of hatred and ignorance here.

    A flawed investigation, a sham appeal process and constant misinformation and lies has exposed the NFL offices for the fraudulent and corrupt buffoons that they are.

    Time for some real investigating of the league office and the efforts it went through to distract everyone from Kensil’s complete lack of ethics and his desire to settle and old grudge.

  111. No time to gloat, fellow Patriots fans. The correct verdict was rendered. This is good for football fans of all teams.
    I know this has triggered lots of pationate debate by all posters. Hopefully any bad blood and animosity can be set aside and we can go back to arguing about whether our defence can trump your offence and vice versa.

  112. slam dunk victory because it was obvious he NFL has nothing and wasted million on justifying a flawed “independent” investigation with weak findings and conclusions.

    Goodell loses again! LOL!

  113. At what point do the NFL (owners and players) kick Goodell out and bring someone else who is more neutral and seems to have the best interests of NFL…ALL THE NFL…at heart?

  114. Accusing someone of cheating is probably more detrimental to healthy competition than anything anyone could actually do. 5 year old kids understand this.

  115. It just proves Brady is nothing more than that kid on the basketball court when you were a kid that if he didn’t get his way he would stomp his feet and storm away till he got what he wanted.. If you idiot Pats fans think he didn’t know what was going on with his footballs then you are as delusional as he is..it just proves that the Pats can do what they want without any consequences

  116. p.s. comparing this silly deflation to the OJ trial is sick. We’re talking about a double murder. Are you kidding me? Talk to the Jets, they wrote the original deflategate story back in 2009. What happened to them? Oh right, nothing. Jets are cheaters, Jets are cheaters, waah, waah. Serial cheaters. waahhhhhhhh 🙁

  117. After reading it myself, they also never addressed the disparity between what the Wells report said, and what Goodell CLAIMED in his punishment that Brady concocted the scheme, gave endusements, etc, etc.

    Yeah this was absolutely a slam dunk.

    So much of one, that Berman didn’t even take the three more victory laps against the NFL he could have.

    What’s really funny is Tagliabue was brought in and faced the same situations and did it RIGHT, but Goodell, even with Tagliabue showing how IT’S DONE, didn’t learn from it, and did EVERYTHING WRONG that Tagliabue did RIGHT.

    You want to know what the problem with WITCH HUNTS are? They are only done by the desperate, because they HAVE NOTHING ELSE TO GO ON.

    Because of this, there are ALWAYS MASSIVE HOLES in what they are trying to do, and judge Berman just pointed SOME of them out.

    Does the NFL want to risk the rest being pointed out? Because the next judge might take on the bigger ones that involve the direct incompetence of Goodell.

    This ruling indeed makes Goodell look incompetent, but the three things Judge Berman didn’t address, if found to be legally flawed like the rest (and that’s probably in my estimation) then he would look UTTERLY AND TOTALLY INCOMPETENT.

    So my guess is that is Berman’s way of trying to stop an appeal from happening, by saying to the NFL… YOU LOST, but if you appeal IT CAN GET WORSE.

  118. In other news, looking for his own slam duck to save face Goodell shifts focus to vacating Broncos Superbowl wins for salary cap violates. Shannon Sharpe to give back his two Superbowl rings.

  119. Meh…still tainted forever. – Judge Public Opinion.

    “Four ehh verr Four ehhh verr Four ehh verr!” – Squints

  120. So many idiots posting about how this doesn’t exonerate Brady. It wasnt designed to. It was about whether the Double chin acted properly as Commish, and he didnt.

    Hey Met (Jet) fan, even if something happened here, its no worse than when one of your young arms rubs up the baseball with dirt. Do you really think this why Pats receivers caught the ball? Do you really think this is the mystical key to their success? Get a life!

    Again- the NFL was TRYING to make it easier for QB’s to grip balls via new rules. Science and handling of the balls in question here is inconclusive at worst, and at best points to temperature as a very likely cause.

    I mean, what the hell is going on here? Enough already! I thought Boston fans were the worst losers. Not any more. Its a race to the bottom for B-more and Florham Park.

  121. Character matters to most fan bases. Obviously not that important for pats fans. Your guy got off on a technicality. I hope the NFL appeals and more tax dollars are wasted on this.

  122. In no way does this ruling suggest that he didn’t cheat.

    Goodell has the authority to put Brady on the Exempt list since the law doesn’t perceive that as a punishment, since the player continues to get paid. Goodell should put Shady on the Exempt list until the appeal is heard & decided. That would likely translate to most, if not all, of the season. That would teach players going forward not to mess with the Commish.

  123. I’m glad this ruling was done, the NFL can not change the rules on a whim.

    That being said, please don’t act like justice was served. Anyone paying attention knows the Patriots cheated, they just got away with it, again. He will pay the fine per the CBA, but he’s not innocent by any means.

  124. So eerily like the OJ trial, of which I watched every minute! Both acted arrogant and smug and it was obvious they felt the rules did not apply to them. With that being said, the prosecution (NFL) bungled it so badly, both were exonerated. It is a very sad day for Brady to get off on technicalities 🙁 He did obstruct the investigation and was so arrogant that he wanted to have his first appeal hearing over the phone….smh…..
    With all that being said as my opinion, Brady will be under a microscope this season and my guess is he won’t be able to whine to the refs to throw a penalty flag, with them obliging, again! It’s a sad day for the owners and 90 % of the football fans, but what goes around will come around and I hope we all get to see it 🙂 I hope the NFL appeals and corrects the “technicalities”!!!!!

  125. There is no Justice anymore. The Patriots have gotten away with every thing except for murder. See Aaron Hernandez.

    Shady Brady takes advantage of a broken judicial system. Cheats his way to countless Super Bowls and still has no accountability for his actions. It’s a sad day for the real NFL.

    In a dying “watered down sport” full of rapist and wife beaters now we can add cheating and corruption to the list of unspeakable acts that slipped through the cracks.

  126. This doesn’t take away the fact that Tom Shady is still a cheater. Now that he’s been under scrutiny and has to play with regular sized footballs. No superbowl this year. Bank on it.

  127. This is not Justice. The only people served by this ruling are the liars, cheats & dishonorable of the world.

    I wonder how much $$$ Kraft & his cronies deposited into Berman’s offshore accounts?

  128. Come on, people. This was an elaborate production that played out how everyone wanted it to. Somebody makes a big deal over some footballs. Brady blows it off. The NFL has to ‘be tough’ about it, so they suspend him the four games knowing no court will uphold that. It wasted a lot of time and resources, but in the end, the NFL can claim they ‘tried to do the right thing’ while Brady gets nothing. The Pats are out a million and two jerks in equipment are holding the bag out of work.

    Mission accomplished.

  129. To everyone saying, ‘This ruling does not mean that Brady is innocent!’

    This ruling also does not mean, ‘Roger Goodell, et. al., completely fabricated the case against Tom Brady and the Patriots because the NFL suits are petty, jealous and criminally malicious.’

    Still, which scenario does this ruling support?

  130. All you have to do is look at the tweets from other players around the league – they are openly mocking Goodell.

  131. This does hurt the integrity of the game. We saw Spygate, and we see all the rule bending, and we’ve heard all the rumors. The owners of all the other teams need to make sure that there is no further cheating allowed by the Patriots. We all know who they are.

  132. Duh. I said from Day One that he wouldn’t miss a single game. It’s golden boy Tom Brady and the Patriots, after all.

  133. For all you clowns saying Judge Berman never stated Brady was innocent, he never stated Brady was guilty either. There’s no doubt that Brady will win the appeal which will be all about the facts of the case rather than the fairness of the process. That will truly exonerate him. Then what will your argument be? Get over it. The balls were not even deflated. A witch hunt from the get go.

  134. Dayum, I wish I got $44 mil/year from the owners to act like the biggest buffoon in sports.

    If Goodell had one shred of dignity, he would resign today.

  135. All the people claiming Brady cheated should be honest with themselves and with who they “claim” that to:

    They are speculating, guessing, jumping to uninformed conclusions.

    There has been no legitimate determination that Brady cheated. PERIOD.

  136. Judge Berman may have removed the suspension and blamed NFL for a lot of things but the most important statement is this:

    NFL can’t suspend Brady for knowledge of a deflation scheme because Brady was not placed on proper notice of the possibility of a suspension for such conduct.

    Which means Judge indirectly agrees that Brady is not innocent in this whole affair!

    I am happy that Brady gets to play and hence PAT fans will be happy also.

    We will now watch the games.

  137. No confession No case…But now you will see just like after the spy gate thing the PATs are going to just rack up points on people with no mercy….I can see Randy Moss coming back to assist TB in doing just that…

  138. Instead of Wells, Goodell should have had the investigation run by Eli Manning — the only one who can beat Brady when the stakes are at their highest.

  139. Pats are cheaters!!!*

    *I don’t understand science…it’s hard
    *I don’t read documents…they’re long
    *Defendants are guilty even if there’s no evidence
    *The earth is flat

  140. Brady is innocent and vindicated. Anyone who continues to think otherwise is a hater or just dead wrong and won’t admit it. There is no evidence of wrongdoing. There is a court ruling that shows he was railroaded. The NFL appeal will be at their own peril. They will lose and may even do more damage to the shield. Goodell must be fired.

  141. back to reality:

    Brady cheats

    Belichick Cheats

    The Pats Cheat

    and anyone with a brain knows it…. today is a sad day for NFL Football… another player refuses to take responsibility, slams honesty in the game, and the lesson to our kids is:

    no matter what you do, deny it, wiggle around, and the system will eventually let you go scott free…

    this is disgusting.

  142. On of you mentioned Brady is a cheater and ruins the integrity of the game as he instructed his guys to deflate the ball to the low end…uhm, hello? So even if he did have McNally check the balls to ensure that they are on the low end AFTER the Refs checked them you feel the game was not on the level. So I guess 12.5 psi has a different feel depending if they’re handled before and after the Refs check them…got it. How did SB 49 work out by the way?

  143. I never really cared about this issue either way. But if I was an NFL owner, I would be a little concerned that the Commissioner is making the entire league look like a bunch of ding bats.

  144. I’d like to thank Roger Goodell for allowing me to draft Tom Brady in the 7th round, as a back up to Philip Rivers.

    Apparently Philip Rivers will be the backup now.

  145. Ravens fan dilemma week 1: Root for Brady over the Steelers?

    Damn that just feels dirty! I almost feel I would root for the Steelers in that game.

  146. Brady is freed and justice is served. All you haters (most of whom didn’t even bother to read the documents), along w/ the bozos running the league office and this Goodell-Gate: Goodell, Vincent, Kensil, Wells, Pash, Mortensen & ESPN in general, can all choke on your self-serving idiocy and hatred. This decision, while not as sweet as the Super Bowl victory over the Seahawks, feels pretty damn good!

  147. It still doesn’t mean that he didn’t cheat.
    Cindy Brady. Super Bowl *Winner for the Cheartriots and coach Bill-A-Cheat.

  148. As far as Brady’s innocence please read page 7 of the judges decision…it wasn’t just a technicality people…this was a tempest in a teapot

  149. idpfantasyfootball says:
    Sep 3, 2015 11:03 AM

    he STILL owes everything that he has to Charles Woodson…. the rings, the house, the cars, the wife… ALL OF IT!

    ————–

    Good thing the replay was available and the right call was made, because the Coleman missed the roughing the passer penalty. Woodson chopped Brady in the head on that play!

  150. giantssg says:
    Sep 3, 2015 12:38 PM

    Instead of Wells, Goodell should have had the investigation run by Eli Manning — the only one who can beat Brady when the stakes are at their highest.

    ———–

    Maybe true, but in between flashes of brilliance Eli really sucks badly.

  151. This is absolutely huge if you’re a Patriots fan. I’m not but I’m just glad that it’s all over. I didn’t really care how it turned out because it went on for way too long. Hopefully we’ve heard the end of it but probably not. Can’t wait until next Thursday night.

  152. ctbarryjr says:
    Sep 3, 2015 11:05 AM

    A fine = guilt. He cheated!!!!!!!!

    ————-

    So did Mike Tomlin when he stepped on the field to block Jones on the kickoff return. He was fined 100k and he was guilty. No one cares. That’s how this will be now at worst. At best, people will understand that there was no proof against Brady at all and he doesn’t even deserve a fine.

  153. randomguy9999 says:
    Sep 3, 2015 1:15 PM
    back to reality:

    Brady cheats

    Belichick Cheats

    The Pats Cheat

    and anyone with a brain knows it…. today is a sad day for NFL Football… another player refuses to take responsibility, slams honesty in the game, and the lesson to our kids is:

    no matter what you do, deny it, wiggle around, and the system will eventually let you go scott free…

    this is disgusting.
    ———-
    the lesson to your kids is that people lie and the courts get to the truth. You should be teaching them not to make decisions based on petty jealousy.

    The judge knew it was a lie, that’s why he decided the way he did. All those people all that money and they couldn’t find one real piece of evidence. I feel sorry for your kids and hope you’re never on a jury.

  154. As a Bengals fan, I NEVER root for the Steelers, but I’ll be rooting for them to beat New England in Game 1.

  155. Too all of the Brady and Patriot haters out there. Pay back sucks doesn’t it. I cherish every moment of saying this:

    I TOLD YOU SO! I told you this heinous decision would be tossed completely out by the court. And for the exact reasons given.

    Followed later by a disastrous, public Goodell dunking by the Appellate Court. And SCOTUS refusing to even hear it.

  156. if there is such a thing as poetic justice, it is first series of downs against the Steelers Brady would be hit with a clean legal tackle and suffer a Joe Theismann like career ending injury! And oh yes, as part of that injury Bill Belichick would also get taken out in the play and be injured as well

  157. For all you morons bringing up OJ- yes OJ was acquitted in criminal court where the standard of evidence is “beyond reasonable doubt”.

    However, “Deflategate” was NOT a criminal case and only had a “preponderance of evidence” requirement (i.e., more probable than not).
    Which makes it comparable to a civil case – again, NOT a criminal case.

    And guess what? OJ lost in civil court in the “wrongful death” suit brought against him by the Simpson family.

    So drop the OJ comparisons.

    Unless you want to continue looking like ignorant, uninformed losers.

  158. halvie007 says:
    Sep 3, 2015 11:42 AM
    If I were Goodell, I would take Brady to trial and then put him on the commissioners exempt list until the trial is finished.

    —————————————————————–

    Sorry, doesn’t work that way. The player has to agree to be put on the exempt list.
    Goodell is not god. Get over it.

  159. With the season starting and Brady under center, fans can finally enjoy having won the Super Bowl. For all those haters out there who believe in fairy tales about inflated balls, I hope better for you when you team eventually wins one.

  160. Randy says “if there is such a thing as poetic justice, it is first series of downs against the Steelers Brady would be hit and suffer a Joe Theismann like career ending injury! And Belichick would also get taken out in the play ”

    Randy, what should happen to John Elway and Shannon Sharpe? The won 2 Superbowls violating salary cap rules.. way worse than a 1/2 PSI

  161. No…more like rich white boy prom king, my crap don’t stink, I can destroy my phone if I want to, I’m above the rules, and I’ll never get punished kind of scumbag.

    BTW…the Redskins lead the NFL in PED suspensions, the last PED suspension for the Seahawks was in 2013 (Brandon Browner who then went on to play for the Patriots), and the only reason you think Marshawn is a scumbag is because he’s just too “street” for you.

  162. seattlesue427 says:
    Sep 5, 2015 1:13 PM
    No…more like rich white boy prom king, my crap don’t stink, I can destroy my phone if I want to, I’m above the rules, and I’ll never get punished kind of scumbag.
    ————————————–
    Wow, those bitter tears must really be getting to you.
    I know, maybe try improving your OWN life, then you won’t put so much stock into how others are living theirs!!

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