NFL could be making some changes to its legal lineup

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When a football team plunges to 0-5, the team considers making significant changes. With the league office plunging to 0-5 in high-profile player disciplinary cases, it could be time to consider making significant changes.

Peter King of TheMMQ.com has a quote from an unnamed team executive in his Monday column that confirms the mindset percolating in multiple corners of the league: “We need to find out if we have the right people giving us our legal advice.”

For a league that has (had) a track record of winning big cases, the sudden inability to find its way around a courtroom is stunning, and the latest loss to the NFL Players Association and Tom Brady becomes the most glaring. And also the most dangerous for the people who get paid by the hour, or by the salary, to give legal advice to the NFL.

The league office rarely fires anyone in a prominent job with the harsh immediacy that teams do, but a perfect storm of factors has aligned for the league’s in-house and outside lawyers. In the statement issued after Brady’s suspension was vacated, Patriots owner Robert Kraft made it clear that his beef is not with Commissioner Roger Goodell but with those whispering legal advice into this ear.

“[W]ith absolutely no evidence of any actions of wrongdoing by Tom in the Wells report, the lawyers at the league still insisted on imposing and defending unwarranted and unprecedented discipline,” Kraft said.

That was widely perceived to be a shot at NFL general counsel Jeff Pash and outside counsel Gregg Levy, a finalist for the Commissioner job in 2006 who served as Goodell’s legal advisor during the Brady appeal hearing. And while some may shrug at Kraft’s criticism because his team was the target of the most recent investigation/prosecution, plenty of voices throughout the league have quietly joined the chorus that change may be needed when it comes to the legal advice the league is getting.

Coupled with the arrival of Tod Leiweke as Chief Operating Officer followed closely by the departure of P.R. chief Paul Hicks, it’s not hard to envision other high-level officials leaving in a way that looks voluntary, but that really isn’t.

The most obvious change should be (and undoubtedly will be) the end of Ted Wells’ run as an “independent” investigator. Even if, as some believe, Wells was simply skewing his investigation to give the person who hired Wells what the person who hired Wells wanted, Wells becomes the most obvious person to blame internally — and the easiest to separate from. He doesn’t need to be fired; he simply needs to not be hired for any future high-profile investigation/prosecutions.

Of course, the Brady case isn’t over yet. If Pash and/or Levy can snatch victory at the appeals court from the jaws of the defeat delivered last week by Judge Richard M. Berman, that 0-5 record becomes 1-4. But that may not be enough to prevent change, especially since the NFL may now be tempted to pursue the appeal with a new set of lawyers.

There’s also a chance that, in the echo chamber at 345 Park Avenue, the lawyers are simply telling Roger what Roger wants to hear because Roger has made it clear that if those lawyers won’t tell Roger what he wants to hear, Roger will get new lawyers. That’s a very common dynamic when it comes to lawyers advising organizations led ultimately by one executive, and I’ve been in multiple awkward meetings where, for example, the person in charge of a manufacturing facility doesn’t like what the lawyer is saying because it keeps the person in charge of the manufacturing facility from running it the way he wants.

Regardless of whether it came from the Commissioner or the lawyers, something apparently changed in 2012.

“It’s like some switch got flipped in the league office where they said, ‘Okay, let’s see how far we can push this and basically impose penalties wherever we want to without any process and let’s see what happens,'” NFLPA outside counsel Kessler said on Friday’s PFT Live.

What’s happened is that the NFL has pushed the envelope and failed, repeatedly. The Saints bounty suspensions were overturned by former Commissioner Paul Tagliabue, who was appointed to handle the appeal under pressure from litigation challenging Goodell’s ability to preside. The Ray Rice indefinite suspension was overturned by a retired federal judge appointed by the league to handle the case. The Adrian Peterson suspension was vacated by a federal judge in Minnesota. The Greg Hardy suspension was reduced from 10 games to four by the league’s hand-picked, go-to arbitrator, Harold Henderson.

Now, Brady fought the NFL law, and the NFL law lost. Whether a product of bad advice given or good advice ignored, the league and its new COO likely realize that whatever changed three years ago needs to change back.

72 responses to “NFL could be making some changes to its legal lineup

  1. I blame no one but the NFL. This Brady issue as well as others could have been handled much different. Goodell preaches integrity and honor and does neither. The last 5-6 investigations have been from the cuff , arm chair with no template or structure involved in any of them. I would lose my job years ago ……why Roger keeps getting a pass is quite baffling honestly….He has to go I feel for true change to come to the front office of the NFL…..

  2. It doesn’t matter which lawyer is giving the advice if the client doesn’t listen. Talking to you, Roger.

  3. This from a man/owner who threw his team and players under the bus with him driving it at the beginning of deflate gate.

  4. The owners need to clean house!! Legal team gets their marching orders from Goodell, who is letting the power go to his head. He isn’t God, he’s just the Commissioner….

  5. The judge from the last case was hanging in the Hamptons with Robert Kraft so how fair was that trial

  6. Really? They needed this case to figure out their legal team is a joke? Maybe try actually reading the CBA before spending millions going to court. You had about a 4% chance of beating Brady based on the…ummm…actual facts of the case. Amazes me these supposed “smart” businessman are really this clueless.

  7. An unanswered question in all this is whether Goodell was fed what certain people wanted him to hear or if they were telling him what he wanted to hear. Either way it appears that it led to Goodell telling the owners some things that were less than factual. Many of them may not have known any more than what the league office told them but you can bet they have all read everything since Berman ruled and it probably isn’t reflecting well on 345 Park Ave.

    The Billionaire Boys Club can’t be amused at the way the league looks in all this now. As a result there will be blood, it’s just a matter of whose and how much

  8. HATERS ARISE…(LMAO)

    That said,,from a LEGAL perspective any competent trial attorney would have told them, that with NO evidence, and no testimony, and finally hard SCIENCE that backed up BRADY, this case was a loser from the GET GO.
    Lets just take Bermans questions: Mr Nash, what evidence does the NFL have or the Report presents that shows any direct connection to Mr Brady?
    Answer: None your Honor, but one can infer…(judge cuts him off) …
    This is the case you appeal to the 2nd circuit court of Appeals ??? What are you thinking?

  9. You look at the NFL front office jobs and you just know that they don’t have to work hard, they get paid a ridiculous amount of money and they basically do nothing. The game is on cruise control. There will be more heads rolling. The clowns and fall-guys they will be axing struck gold with those jobs…it was basically a lifetime appointment to not do much at all and they blew it. Hopefully one of them writes a tell-all to give even more detail of what lowlife, manipulating sleaze-balls Führer Goodell and Kensil are.

  10. Peter King has a habit of disguising humdrum thoughts of unnamed ‘official’ sources as startling revelations. In the process he rides his hobby horse of self-importance.

    At this point he should leave the journalism to the younger staff he has assembled at MMQB and spend his own time visiting coffee houses and writing Yelp reviews.

  11. Sure, it is easy to take a shot at the League Attorneys, and they do have their share of screwups (having Pash “wordsmith” the Wells report, then not allowing Brady’s team to cross-examine)

    BUT

    It must also be noted that the arbitrary/reactionary discipline decisions they are asked to defend puts them at third and long.

  12. Well there’s your scapegoat(s). “It’s all the lawyers’ fault!” This is actually a brilliant move on the league’s part if you think about it, because “Everybody hate’s lawyers… until they need one.”

  13. Do you think the league office is realizing it tried to tangle with Tom Brady yet? Enjoy your firings, I hope your layoffs go really well.

  14. The NFL has completely botched this entire event and damaged the overall brand. It is amazing to see a league so financialy healthy and popular continue to make such poor decisions.

    The NFL League Office better recognize that all good things end but in their case they seem hell bent on accelerating the process.

  15. The three loudest voices calling for change were Robert Kraft, Jeb York, and Arthur Blank. Notably, all three owners have seen their teams’ names come up in League discipline over the last few years.

    Consider who is talking as much as what is being said.

  16. And let’s not forget that the owners hired the commissioner who hired the lawyers and investigator. There’s a lot of blame to spread around here. The likely end result is that Roger Goodell gets fired so the owners save face.

  17. Chicagobtech
    You are dead on
    As in most things in life you assume an entity in authority carries out their business fair and balanced. It is when you are trodded upon you see the inequity. Patriots fans have said on numerous times that they wish they spoke out against the league regarding Bountygate.

    Also it is why we know if things continue as is, your team may be next, unless there is a change.

  18. It’s a little frustrating to me to read reports that imply Roger Goodell isn’t the front and center target for change. Maybe it’s just my ignorance on how the NFL works, but I just don’t appreciate his apparent intrinsic value. I have no idea what exactly he does that couldn’t be handled more profeciently by a seasoned executive. It’s not like Goodell started a company from scratch and through sweat, hard work and ingenuity, built this successful enterprise. Yes he doggedly got a job with the NFL and apparently badgered his way up the ladder. But I haven’t read one article where he either went back to school to improve his ability to manage the company he runs or surrounded himself with anything but yes men. The NFL has outgrown him and just because he sent out some 30+ letters seeking employment by the NFL some 30 years ago is not sufficient reason to keep him now. Roger Goodell has sullied the integrity of the shield and continues to do so. Get rid of him.

  19. I said last night and today others have said the same, its time the owners clean house, they will make there money regardless of who is the commissar.Bill

  20. Goodell and the attorneys for the NFL are compulsive liars.

    I despise the media outlets for implying Goodell isnt the problem. Goodell is the #1 problem. He needs to go.

    Tags and Rozelle never had these problems. The 3 main culprits in this entire fiasco are Goodell, the owners, and the NFL attorneys. Stop skirting around the main problems.

    When you hear ignorant comments from McNair, Mara, Jones. Its pretty simple Goodell, the Owners and the Attorneys that are creating these problems for the NFL. its all about Integrity of which none of the above have any.

  21. Sounds to me that the peons are telling the boss what he wants to hear. And the boss is wrong again for continuing to go after Brady. Cut your losses Roger.

  22. The owners should advise (demand) that Roger Goodell take a several-year moratorium from using the word ‘integrity’ in public. His office lied in the leak to Mortenson and lied in the letter to Kraft. He personally lied about the investigation being ‘independent’ and, in his opinion, about Brady testifying that there was no phone discussion of deflation.

    He was also termed unreliable in his Ray Rice testimony to a federal judge.

    I get that sometimes your job puts you in a position to lie. But, if caught at it repeatedly, you should at least have the good sense not to pretend that you are an exemplar of integrity.

  23. Yeah, no evidence of wrong doing by Tom other than 12 deflated footballs, video footage of his equipment guy taking the balls into a locked room to deflate them, destroying evidence in the investigation, going from the 6th worst fumbler of all time to not even in top 100 after he was able to “prep” balls himself, and going from basically Trent Dilfer to a HOFer in the stats department, also coincident with getting access that allowed his guys to deflate the balls.

    But other than that no evidence Bob.

  24. And the League Office marketing Twitter troll needs to be fired. Remember the classless taunt on twitter when this whole frame job started w Brady.

    Then the Twitter Troll is at it again. The NFL sends out a tweet with possible QBs in Super Bowl 50. Guess who wasnt pictured? You got it Tom Brady. But they had Andrew Luck and Carson Palmer
    Lmao.

    The Browns have as good a chance at making the SB as the Colts. And the Browns have none. The Colts are soft. Palmer keeps blaming his WRs all the time.

    Every single League Office employee needs to be fired starting with Goodell.

  25. Goodell has done nothing but lie starting with the erroneous PSI levels given to Mortensen! Who leaked that? Why was the lie not immediately corrected? He continued with the lie about the Wells/Pash report being” independent “, he lied about the union wanting the appeal sealed,and once the appeal was unsealed more lies came to light. Due to the unsealing of the appeal the lies Goodell told regarding testimony of Tom &’ Tom’s expert witness were revealed!

    The fact that files & notes from the Wells/ Pash report were not made available to Tom’s defense is a Red flag. What are they hiding? Anyone who has watched ” My Cousin Vinny ” knows about discovery! Both sides are entitled to evidence. What is in the info they were afraid to share! Same things apply to the refusal of Pash to be questioned by Mr Kessler.
    I’m sure the NFL attorney team told Goodell he was violating federal law , as the judge pointed out on pages 36-37 .

  26. Initial finding: It is more probable than not that the league acted to railroad a player. It is more probable than not the the legal team was generally aware of the league’s activity.

    Final Decision: The legal team perpetrated a scheme to discredit and punish one specific team by approving the leaking of false information to a pliable sports network, trumping up a patchwork of innuendo as evidence in a report that was deliberately misrepresented as being independent, conceiving and carrying out an unfair (and illegal) arbitration, and drafting a deceptive arbitration award.

  27. ys:
    Sep 7, 2015 “Both sides are entitled to evidence”
    ==============

    In a court of Law, the Defense Attorney does not have to disclose anything to the Prosecution side. Thus, the NFL was within their rights to keep any and all finds from Brady during the Appeal Process. Scarasm -LMAO….

  28. Oooooh, changes in the NFL’s legal office! This is fascinating.

    Can your deeply placed sources tell us what’s next for HR? What about admin? Are they going to implement a program to get people discounts on bikes if they promise to bike to work? Have they upgraded the office computers to Windows 10?

  29. The Lawyers at the league office carefully orchestrated this whole deflategate drama with the intent specific purpose of the process holding up in court.. not only did it not hold up.. it was completely exposed as the amateur hour operation it was. Anybody who was paid even a penny for legal advice regarding this issue (& many others) should be fired.

  30. Kraft is right… The unprecedented discipline was the real problem. That’s what got it overturned. Had they issued a fine to Brady consistent with past punishments he may have had to pay it and move on.

  31. Goodell is the problem. He seems to believe he is the reason people watch the NFL, like he is a superstar. He is paid that rediculous salary to be invisible, not to be so self-important.

  32. You beat me to it. Add Gardi too that list.
    Someone needs to be held accountable for leaking the false info to Mortensen and King. This is Bob Krafts job to hold people at the front office accountable. Plus he needs to get the draft picks back

  33. In other words what Roger needs is advice from the great Cris Carter like “Because all you guys aren’t going to do the right stuff. I need to teach to you how to get around all of this stuff too. If you have a crew, one of them fools need to know that they’re going to jail.” HA!!!! This is too easy!!!

  34. chicagobtech says:
    Sep 7, 2015 9:55 AM

    The three loudest voices calling for change were Robert Kraft, Jeb York, and Arthur Blank. Notably, all three owners have seen their teams’ names come up in League discipline over the last few years.

    Consider who is talking as much as what is being said.
    ————————————————————
    True, but if McNair’s comments are any indication, it did not seem like any other owners had even read the Wells report of had received any info other than the blatant lies released by the NFL office.

  35. This paragraph struck me as funny:

    “There’s also a chance that, in the echo chamber at 345 Park Avenue, the lawyers are simply telling Roger what Roger wants to hear because Roger has made it clear that if those lawyers won’t tell Roger what he wants to hear, Roger will get new lawyers. ”

    I was listening to CBS Sports Radio yesterday and one of their hosts (I think it was D.A. calling into the Nick Wright show) said he happened to be sitting at a table next to Roger Goodell and his staff at a cafe, and he said Roger was talking about himself in the third person.

    “Roger Goodell thinks…”
    “Roger Goodell wants…”

    Florio nailed it.

  36. vikesr4reel says:
    Sep 7, 2015 10:11 AM
    The real problem is that Brady cheated and got away with it..
    Blame everyone but the person that started all this..
    SMART!

    —————

    Think about it more critically for a second. Why do you believe Brady cheated?

    Every piece of information that makes you believe he cheated was published by the NFL, who were just proven to have run an unfair process. The Wells report was extremely thin on evidence even if you believe it verbatim. If you consider the fact that it was co-written by head council of the NFL with the express intention of implicating Brady then it’s pretty hard to believe it.

    The Colts were the ones that started this with the email they sent and the NFL chose to turn it into a big scandal. There’s no reliable evidence Brady started anything.

  37. Jjunestuff said:Sep 7, 2015 10:30 AM
    Initial finding: It is more probable than not that the league acted to railroad a player. It is more probable than not the the legal team was generally aware of the league’s activity.

    Final Decision: The legal team perpetrated a scheme to discredit and punish one specific team by approving the leaking of false information to a pliable sports network, trumping up a patchwork of innuendo as evidence in a report that was deliberately misrepresented as being independent, conceiving and carrying out an unfair (and illegal) arbitration, and drafting a deceptive arbitration award.
    ————————————————————————————————-
    Right on point bro. Anyone with any sense would realize every this. Your statement is a dagger!!!

  38. It shouldn’t take a rocket scientist for Gooddell to have sorted this thing out, no matter WHAT the lawyers were telling him.

    He was handed this mess where footballs on BOTH sides were below specs; he knew that there were no “baseline” measurements at the start of the game; he knew that none of the gauges were calibrated; he knew that no one bothered to record the halftime measurements.

    He knew that a football below specs was an EQUIPMENT VIOLATION,

    And yet, he still commissioned the $5 million Wells Report.

    And Gooddell KNEW from that report that there were no text messages between Brady and the equipment guys with a “smoking gun”; he knew that neither of the equipment guys offered a confession to Wells; he knew that neither Wells nor Exponent had a single damn thing on Brady or the Patriots …… yet he STILL levied punishment that blew any precedent completely out of the water.

    And he didn’t do this because he was stupid. He didn’t do this as a vendetta against Bob Kraft, the Patriots, or Tom Brady.

    He did this because he desperately wanted to assert his authority under the CBA, after several recent debacles where his authority was challenged, and beaten.

    Gooddell’s beef with his lawyers is that they told him THIS was the case to test that authority on.

    Memo to Gooddell, Pash, and every brilliant mind on the NFL team: You CAN’T win a case when you make up evidence out of thin air.

  39. They need new owners – ones who will actually follow their OWN bylaws and actually have “a commissioner who shall have unquestioned integrity”

    If they can’t follow their own rules they can’t expect anyone else to

    But the legal team was given a loser of a case by an incompetent Roger Goodell plus former Jets minions who run this league like its their personal “vengeance club” – they can’t even run a sting operation well, let alone a League

  40. osiris33 stated_Yeah, no evidence of wrong doing by Tom other than 12 deflated footballs, video footage of his equipment guy taking the balls into a locked room to deflate them, destroying evidence in the investigation, going from the 6th worst fumbler of all time to not even in top 100 after he was able to “prep” balls himself, and going from basically Trent Dilfer to a HOFer in the stats department, also coincident with getting access that allowed his guys to deflate the balls.
    ———————————————————-
    first of all the balls were not deflated, the Ideal Gas Law proved that, or are you still believing the erroneous lie from Mortenson. .2PSI is the issue!!!
    You do know the refs watched McNally leave the room to go use the toilet, no balls were deflated
    prepping the balls did not involve PSI, only breaking them in
    the fumbling stat has been disproven by MANY studies, ask Ridley about what happens when you fumble{ what team is he on now?}
    You do know the stats in the second half were better once the balls were re inflated due to losing pressure from the Ideal Gas Law.
    read page 7 of the decision where Judge Berman quotes from the Wells/pash report the uncertainty tampering occurred

  41. ezra954 says:
    Sep 7, 2015 9:32 AM
    The judge from the last case was hanging in the Hamptons with Robert Kraft so how fair was that trial

    ——-

    Always looking for a conspiracy theory is a waste of time. The NFL picked the court, Berman was assigned. Kraft met him for the first time because they both happened to be at the party, so he got an intro. They talked for 2 min.

    Implying that a federal judge would do something illegal for an NFL owner is ridiculous.

    Berman’s ruling was sound and will be hard for the appellant court to fine fault with.

  42. New Lawyers + New PR = Same Old Problems

    Why?

    Because same stupid commissioner will wing it when the next problem arises.

  43. I disagree with your logic on the recent harsh penalties. This all started at the Rice case where the league, which is typically out of touch with society, determined domestic violence was not important enough to do the due diligence required to get to the bottom of the Rice case. By doing so they underestimated the response when shortly after the two game suspension, the infamous video surfaced. As the league tends to do it then overreacted to every case it had because it felt at this point the players had gotten out of control. Peterson, Hardy, Brady etc… just happened to be the next high profile cases they had and the league lowered the boom with a lot more boom than was required or legal based on the CBA. The personal conduct policy was generated with no input from the NFLPA and Goodell and his in house appointees lost direction and focus. I don’t blame the lawyers and Goodell as I do the owners who want the commissioner to lower the boom on the other 31 teams but not their own. Goodell is simply an extension of owners whispering in his ear and when what he does isn’t popular they hang him out to dry. Goodell got whispers of support for his punishment on all these guys but when it fell apart, the owners were hiding under their desks. Mara, Jones, Bisciotti and Irsay all expressed behind doors support for going after Brady, with Mara and Jones two of the most influential and vocal, and when the ruling came down it was then transferred to perhaps we need to look at how discipline is imposed. You did look at it, the management council made it a centerpiece of CBA negotiations, now they want to pretend Goodell is a loose cannon. Goodell is simply a handgun in the hands of the owners who want to blame the gun when they shoot it and it hits someone.

  44. Holding the lawyers accountable is a good start, but let’s not forget one major thing: the only provable lie throughout this is the one from Roger Goodell in writing his decision on the appeal. Yes, someone else wrote it or helped him, but regardless it is an obvious and outright lie where he mischaracterizes Brady’s testimony. That has nothing to do with legal advice. You can’t even call it a misinterpretation of the testimony. Goodell deliberately lied to attempt to reinforce his own position.

    A federal judge pretty much stated that Goodell lied when attempting to re characterize Ray Rices testimony and he was even contradicted by his own notes as well as the testimony of everyone else who was there.

    The NFL also hired an “independent” investigator to find out if Goodell had lied about his knowledge of the second Ray Rice video. He was somehow exonerated by the investigator he paid.

    The man is a pathological liar. He will say and do whatever he needs to in order to make his position seem like the right one. He should not be running the NFL

  45. osiris33 says:
    Sep 7, 2015 10:11 AM
    Yeah, no evidence of wrong doing by Tom other than 12 deflated footballs, video footage of his equipment guy taking the balls into a locked room to deflate them, destroying evidence in the investigation, going from the 6th worst fumbler of all time to not even in top 100 after he was able to “prep” balls himself, and going from basically Trent Dilfer to a HOFer in the stats department, also coincident with getting access that allowed his guys to deflate the balls.

    But other than that no evidence Bob.
    ____________________________

    Pointing out the deficiencies in every single one of your cited pieces of “evidence’ won’t have any effect on you, but try imagining yourself facing a jury with this as the supposed evidence against you. (Here’s where you insert reflex denial.)

    (Incidently, the supposed fumble analysis was debunked quickly and hasn’t been heard from again, but it does live on doesn’t it?)

  46. Goodell has done this before. Spygate, Bountygate, Ray Rice, Adrian Peterson and now Deflategate. Spygate, he covered up, destroyed the evidence. Bountygate, invented evidence and people bought it, proved he was lying, no one called for his job but Saints fans. Saints fans were accused of “just being mad”, because the team got caught. Again no evidence of a “Bounty” but till this day, people still believe the “Bounty” existed. Ray Rice, I don’t have any use for, but again Goodell over stepped his bounds. Adrian Peterson, have no use for him, but again Goodell overstepped his bounds. Greg Hardy, over stepped his bounds. Tom Brady, definitely not a Patriots fan, actually I hate the Patriots. Again Goodell lies and over stepped his bounds. When does the Goodell era end. He has no integrity, no boundaries and will do and say what he wants to promote his “opinions” and his agenda. Wake up people Goodell has his own agenda and he will do whatever it takes to make it his way or the highway.

  47. .
    Some of the owners have to be flummoxed by the NFL’s rush to appeal. Even if they were to win, which is highly unlikely per most non-biased legal analysts, the case then returns to Judge Berman.

    Judge Berman has already made it known in his decision that the notes of Ted Wells and the testimony of Pash will be part of the next proceedings. There’s big paydays ahead for the league’s lawyers, but very little payoff for the owners.
    .

  48. You have to wonder, if the NFL botched deflategate which could have been solved very easily by stopping it before it started……what on earth will they do when they’re trying to deal with the fallout from the Concussion movie in December? If, as I hear, it’s focus is the NFL front office actively covering up and trying to subvert evidence of the effects of brain trauma……how are they going to explain spending over 50 million dollars on legal costs for losing cases this year alone–instead of putting that money to better use developing ways to make football safer?

  49. Just a thought, if the fallout from the Concussion movie is as bad as it’s supposed to be; maybe the owners don’t want to fire Goodell before then….they’re going to need a fall guy big time!

  50. So Robert Kraft is still defending Roger Goodell. Well, maybe the next time something bad happens he can look in the mirror and blame himself. I’ve had it with his apologies to Tom Brady and Patriots fans. They amount to nothing because Kraft fails to understand that these people he blames here report to Goodell and Goodell is responsible. When other owners got harsh penalties from Goodell, Kraft told them to “suck it up” and Kraft wonders why the other 31 did not stand by him here. As for Goodell, if he was too stupid not to take Brady’s deal, then he’s not fit to run the NFL. Goodell and Kraft deserve each other.

  51. No new facts about the case can come out now or in Appeals. The record is frozen and Kessler conceded that. The only thing the NFL legal team really needs to be concerned with is whether Berman ruled outside his scope and that Article 46 should have prevented him from his ruling. The NFL is corrupt and that is all they are hanging their hats on right now. It’s not about Goodell and Wells, deceitful false leaks to the press and the fabrication of stories to discredit Tom Brady. It’s about the NFL’s right to be corrupt. It’s kind of sad that they felt that they needed to try to ruin Tom Brady’s reputation with no evidence. That’s where they beyond corrupt to being total jerks.

  52. The correspondence the Patriots leaked of the email trail between Pash and Patriots in-house counsel was some of the most damaging I read in connection with this case. Pash was asked repeatedly to mitigate the risk to the Patriots and Brady of ESPN’s misinforming the public with psi numbers that where inaccurate and misleading and he refused to do so. The psi lies were not a mistake, they were the NFL’s game-plan, a game-plan blessed by the NFL Chief Counsel

    How can this guy still have a job?

  53. There is a legal term, The Business Judgment Rule, that CEOs and directors of companies use to cover their rear ends. On a thumbnail, the rule states that the individual corporate officers and directors can not be personally liable if they follow the advice of third party experts. A guy like Goodell would look to his Chief Counsel (Pash) and the experts Pash hired (Wells, Exponent, other law firms) to advise him on legal strategy and specific legal actions. CEOs and directors almost never go against Business Judgement Rule advice.

    Pash was the clown, with outside counsel, that pushed the lockout of both the players and the refs. He likely is in the pocket of hard-line owners (that do not include Kraft) and, with the help of third party experts and outside counsel, was paying back Kraft and Brady for pushing to end both those lockouts.

    We tend to think of the owners as being a cohesive unit but they are 32 huge egos, most of who, despite making tons of money, have not won much in this league and have not had their personal egos stroked. It likely just kills these guys that Kraft not only wins on the field but he got his way in the lockouts. They couldn’t take him out (he’s no Irsay) so they used deflategate as the plan.

    Thank you Judge Berman for making these guys losers again.

  54. As long as the NFL is lead by a CEO who is more concerned with power over process, and surrounded by a group of yes men, then the legal record will continue to be one of losing.

  55. Jeff Pash is a scumbag.

    The Patriots begged him to correct the lies leaked by NFL executives. They told him the NFL lies were causing the welfare of a 15 year old girl to be endangered.

    He laughed.

    He really should go if integrity is what the NFL wants.

  56. This is a legit question that I’m curious to know: If the COO has the authority (as I understand how this works) to make or simply recommend changes to the league office’s structure, does he also have the ability to recommend a change in commissioner? Perhaps that’s why the position itself has been vacant for many years since Goodell became commish

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