Faced with suspension threat, NFLPA’s only option may be to file a lawsuit

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The NFL is attempting to impose onto the PED policy an obligation for players to provide evidence that would be used against them (other than the urine samples they routinely provide). With the league funneling that requirement not through the PED policy but through the Article 46 concept of conduct detrimental to the league, the chances of making that approach stick are enhanced, thanks to the recent ruling in the Tom Brady litigation.

The NFL Players Association hasn’t responded to Monday’s letter from the league drawing a clear line in the sand, but at this point the only viable response may be to file a lawsuit or to otherwise seek an expedited ruling from a neutral body charged with interpreting the labor deal.

Although the suspensions have not been implemented and appeal rights (meaningless as they may be) would apply, the NFLPA could seek a ruling that blocks the league from implementing suspensions until the underlying dispute regarding whether the league has the right to compel interviews is resolved.

That’s ultimately the question: Whether the PED policy allows the NFL to force players to provide testimony or other evidence (other than periodic urine samples) in connection with an investigation of a violation unrelated to a positive test.

The PED policy, as written, contemplates that the NFL will impose discipline if it has “credible evidence” of a violation, and that the player then will tell his side of the story if he files an appeal. Since the PED policy says nothing about requiring players to submit testimony or other evidence before a finding of a violation is made, the players arguably have no obligation at all to cooperate with the investigation. The NFL, emboldened by the ultimate outcome (pending appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court) of the Brady case, points to Article 46 as the basis for forcing the players to cooperate.

Ultimately, someone needs to decide whether the PED policy or Article 46 control this situation. If the NFLPA hopes to avoid putting players in a talk-or-don’t-play dilemma, the NFLPA must move quickly to initiate the process of filing the appropriate claim with the appropriate tribunal regarding the conflict between the terms of the PED policy and the league’s powers under Article 46.

108 responses to “Faced with suspension threat, NFLPA’s only option may be to file a lawsuit

  1. Well, that didn’t take long….

    Remember when the other owners sat around getting a hearty belly laugh while King Roger was sticking it to Robert Kraft over “Deflategate”?

    Remember when us Pats fans, (yes we know you hate us) said you won’t all be laughing when King Roger turns his crosshairs to your team?

    Not so now funny, is it?

  2. Everybody knows this is all a big sham to distract from the deflate gate debacle. All players will be cleared of any wrong doing and all will be well in the end. They just want to change to discussion from deflate gate to ANYTHING else.

  3. This may be the single issue that leads the NFLPA to declare a strike the next CBA round. The reality is that the NFL is going to push this envelope until it repeatedly loses in court OR costs them at the box office.

  4. Hater Nation, aka Science Deniers Anonymous has laughed gleefully for months as the GOAT was railroaded. I cannot wait to watch each of your teams get theirs from Herr Goodell; first on the docket is the Packers and Steelers. Ain’t it just so funny?!?

  5. For the first time in a long time I agree with the union on this one. Article 46 should not apply since a separate part of the CBA specifically addresses issues involving PEDs.

  6. Just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. Love him or hate Brady and NE, everyone pro-player and pro-labor should have backed him 100% with the realization that sooner or later it was going to hit close to home. It’s not so much that I am a labor advocate, but it doesn’t take a rocket scientist/law degree to recognize that the implications to fair, reasonable, practicable arbitration in the greater, universal sense.

  7. It looks like this is one more clear indication that the NFLPA settled for immediate cash rather than language that would better protect their players when they signed the last CBA.

    When the present CBA is ready to expire I am afraid that fans are going to have to be ready to accept a long stoppage.

  8. OR, you know, the players could do something absolutely foolish and cooperate and be interviewed. I mean I know its ridiculous to even THINK about them actually doing so. I mean what would the world come to if they did!????

    **LOADED WITH SARCASM**

  9. players accept the discipline policy when they accept these very high paying jobs…. they also need to realize that it’s employment that is subject to the standards their employer wants

    nobody else gets to file suit when they are canned for flagrantly breaking their employers rules, don’t get why players feel they aren’t like the rest of us

  10. It’s not like there is a constitutional right to play football and rake in millions of dollars. All they have to do is cooperate and they can play….unless they’re dirty.

  11. Many weeks ago all of the involved players indicated a willingness to be interviewed, and didn’t seem too concerned about it.

    But the NFLPA does not want to set precedent, asked them to not be interviewed, and is using them as a test case.

    It’s all semantics and posturing at this point. It’s possible the players have done absolutely nothing wrong and they are simply accommodating the request of their union.

  12. profootball13 says:
    Aug 16, 2016 12:06 PM
    What a shame that Brady Cheated and opened up this Ugly Can of Worms……..
    ___________________________

    Are you serious???

  13. When it was pointed out here that the Brady and Peterson decisions handed the league office the ability to move most any dispute to Conduct Detrimental Field where the courts have ruled the outcome is a foregone conclusion it was largely hooted down. Anyone laughing now?
    This is only the third round in a fight that is going the distance and will not end well.

  14. It’s preposterous that the NFL could regard the recanted claims of Charlie Sly, published in Al Jazeera, as “credible evidence.” What is the NFL thinking?

  15. Did those players test positive for PED as per current NFL standards. Is the new test to include allegations made by some network. The players need to lawyer up and say nothing. If the NFL has an allegation to make, then make it and off to court they go.

  16. randomguy999 says that “nobody else gets to file suit when they are canned for flagrantly breaking their employers rules”.

    That’s not entirely true. If an employer fails to provide due process under the laws governing your employer, or if they do not follow the process written into a contract, then they cannot just fire you. There must be cause. (It’s called a wrongful termination lawsuit.) That’s why HR departments exist (or are supposed to): so that management follows the process and to protect the company against such lawsuits.

    The NFLPA made the fool-hardy mistake of signing away all due process in the course of their last contract negotiation. Now they are stuck with two choices: abide by the contract that gives all of their rights to the NFL front office; or strike and renegotiate a new contract.

    I, truthfully, don’t care in the least what they do. The NFL is out of control and the NFLPA should have had the foresight to acknowledge that before signing away their rights in (presumably) good faith.

  17. Why does Demaurice Smith still represent the PA? The guy’s been beaten at every turn by a commissioner widely believed to possess an iq slightly above room temperature.

  18. Not every player has the same “bubble of immunity” that PED Peyton has. And these players know that after watching Brady get screwed over nothing, that they are screwed too no matter what they do. Maybe if the league released its full report/transcripts on the “investigation” they did on Manning then we could under stand better. But we know that will never happen.

  19. randomguy9999 says:
    Aug 16, 2016 12:09 PM
    players accept the discipline policy when they accept these very high paying jobs…. they also need to realize that it’s employment that is subject to the standards their employer wants

    nobody else gets to file suit when they are canned for flagrantly breaking their employers rules, don’t get why players feel they aren’t like the rest of us
    ===================

    The players are not subject to “the standards their employer wants.” They are subject to the terms of a CBA. That so many people are blind to that is frightening. What rule are the players flagrantly breaking? After the Rice, Peterson and Brady debacles what player would willingly put his head in Goodell’s noose? Goodell lied about the results of interviews and testimony in all 3 instances, that is a documented fact and not supposition.
    We are well past the top of the slippery slope here folks and anyone that loves the game should be fearing what is at the bottom the hill ’cause it is going to be a bumpy ride with an ugly landing.

  20. randomguy9999 says:
    Aug 16, 2016 12:09 PM
    players accept the discipline policy when they accept these very high paying jobs…. they also need to realize that it’s employment that is subject to the standards their employer wants

    nobody else gets to file suit when they are canned for flagrantly breaking their employers rules, don’t get why players feel they aren’t like the rest of us

    __________________________

    See there’s this thing call the CBA that states the rules regarding PED’s. The league is clearly overstepping here. The Union is also doing what it’s supposed to do and protect (all) it’s members against abuse. Clear you have never been a union member or worked for the federal government, law suites get filed daily for this stuff.

  21. What’s good for the goose should be good for the gander

    Fans of 31 other teams feel that Goodell has a right to their cellphones and that if they refuse it’s “proof” that they’re guilty

    (Didn’t matter that Brady had proof that Goodell fabricated his entire scandal – as the PSI showed there was no deflation – he refused to give up his cellphone so he’s guilty – right Haters? 😉

    When they give up the cellphone, as Brady knew from the Ritchie Incognito investigation, Goodell will release ANYTHING he thinks is embarrassing

    Texts from Incognito that were completely irrelevant to the investigation are now available to the public

    Brady and other NFL players have no rights to keep texts and photos on their personal cellphones private now – the Courts have affirmed that Goodell has any powers he wants

    The Haters created a monster by empowering Goodell to suspend without proof – and now the chickens are coming home to roost.

  22. Please explain where in the CBA that the Brady situation is covered by specific section? No? Then, that is why it went to 46. NOT the case here. I look for a NFPLA win, eventually.

  23. The problem isn’t so much that the language that was accepted in the contract gave Goodell the power he has. Even with that power , although extraordinary, the NFLPA had every right to assume that the power would be applied fairly and consistently. Obviously that has not been the case and the Second Court of Appeals decided that was OK. That is just wrong and provides a dangerous precedent for the NFL and indeed all relationships between labor and management. This is another case where Goodell is picking and choosing what language to rely on and is forcing the players to defend themselves in a situation where no direct evidence exists and the demand is based on hearsay. Anyone on the receiving end of this type of thing would be rightfully outraged.

  24. Since any conduct by a player to cheat creates an unfair playing field with regard to the rest of the teams/players, it would easily be considered detrimental to the League. They can sue if they want…it will allow Harrison to retire before the wheels of justice come to a conclusion on the matter (much like StarCaps did), but the end result can already be seen.

  25. This is not a PED issue. This is a cooperation issue. It may evolve into a PED issue, but isn’t at the moment. If you’ve done nothing wrong, meet with them. End of story

  26. The reality is the owners support Goodell. Dallas and Washington got hosed out of draft picks. New England got hosed period. Steelers and Packers now facing issues on Linebackers.
    But.
    The owners employ and support Goodell. Hmmm. So maybe beating the NFLPA is the real gameday for these fellas. You think?

    LOL

  27. For the first time in a long time I agree with the union on this one. Article 46 should not apply since a separate part of the CBA specifically addresses issues involving PEDs.

    This is not the only case where that logic applies. With
    Brady the penalty for under-inflated balls should have been 25K per ball, not suspension. There is no penalty for failure to hand over your phone but in the past Brett Favre was fined for not giving up his, no suspension

    The NFL is becoming a bigger joke every day

  28. Well if the only answer the players can give is “whach you talkin’ ’bout Willis?” then what’s the problem?

    if they’ve got no knowledge at all of this, as they contend they do, then they shouldn’t have an issue talking to the NFL. Kind of sounds like maybe that’s not the case.

  29. stew48 says:
    Aug 16, 2016 12:23 PM
    Please explain where in the CBA that the Brady situation is covered by specific section? No? Then, that is why it went to 46. NOT the case here. I look for a NFPLA win, eventually.
    __________________________________

    The section regarding Equipment Violations… is that specific enough for you?

  30. collectordude says:
    Aug 16, 2016 12:26 PM
    See the carnage cheating Brady has brought upon his bretehren.
    __________________________

    Pathetic

  31. The most telling thing in the NFL’s statement was the line about how they could still get suspended even if they did submit to the interviews and were deemed uncooperative.

    They’ve already submitted sworn statements amounting to “didn’t do those drugs, don’t even know that guy.” Any bets that Goodell would deem repeating that sentence over and over to be uncooperative? He’s totally set himself up to be judge, jury and executioner where he’ll suspend guys for nothing beyond not liking them.

  32. misterfuji1982 says:
    Aug 16, 2016 12:21 PM
    Why is the NFL even doing this?

    —–
    So Goodell can show he is bigger than the game itself

  33. misterfuji1982 says:
    Aug 16, 2016 12:21 PM

    Why is the NFL even doing this?

    ———————————————–
    cause they Heir Goodell can and PED use is illegal if you didn’t know that.

    Also…they …meaning heir Goodell can and will have what ever his fancy when ever and where ever…should have all backed Tom Brady against this man… sooner or later your team will feel his form of justice…. and you will not be happy

    Report comment

  34. “The Haters created a monster by empowering Goodell to suspend without proof – and now the chickens are coming home to roost.”

    ****

    How exactly did those dastardly haters empower Goodell? Do you hoestly believe if we all posted our outrage on PFT the NFL would’ve relented? I bet ol Rog was scouring the comment section to figure out what he should do. Lmao.

  35. The NFL Players Association can bring this to an end almost immediately. The only true motivation of the NFL is $$$$ and lots more of the $$$$$. IF Goodell suspends these players the players simply go out on strike. Can you imagine the owners in a state of panic losing a half billion of weekly revenue? They will fold quicker than a cheap card table and grant the players full pay for the time out. Now someone point out how they legally cannot strike. Who cares….just do it.

  36. Excuse my ignorance. Why is it such a bad thing for the 4 players to meet with the NFL and answer their questions? Why is the immediate response to go straight to a law suit?

  37. Another “He said She said” like serial whiner Harbaugh going to the league over “Soft Balls” not understanding science and crying over legal plays. This case is someone making a broad accusation and Serial liar and science denier Goodell running with it. Article 46 applies to all except the chosen few.HGH Manning, pill popping Irsay and his intentially tanking team and “Deer Antler” murderers and clorox users in Baltimore. All bow down to “The Enforcer” the intern turned tyrant.

  38. Anybody wanna guess why the allegations against Manning weren’t deemed credible, but the allegations against the rest are credible enough to warrant this garbage?

    Manning sold out the rest of the players. That was the deal. He gets to finish the season. He gets his ring, and he rides off into the sunset. All he had to do was admit to the NFL that it was all true. So he did. That was the trade he made.

    Its hilarious, but it couldn’t be more obvious. Brady stood up to the NFL because it impacted every player across the league. Manning pulled out his knee pads and dropped to his knees.

    The implications of the Brady case were sooooo obvious, and the Patriots fans, and the media members that aren’t retarded (like Florio) all tried to explain what was going to happen. And now, it has happened. The Commish just confirmed that Article 46 permits the NFL to punish any player, for any reason, and there is nothing anyone can do about it. Case closed

  39. Post football Brady will file a defamation suit

    Sure he might not win – but he would have a chance to showcase just how corrupt Goodell and the NFL owners are when they want to fabricate a reason to bench the player that blocks the Road to the Super Bowl for half the teams in the NFL every other year on average

    Not only is there a lack of credible evidence for Brady – the evidence released by the NFL proved no deflation occurred.

    If Goodell wants to suspend these guys they can’t stop him – and if they give up their cellphones they need to accept that everything will be made public as Goodell did with Richie Incognito’s cellphone

    But Goodell is really just going through the motions here.

    He didn’t wait 5 minutes to proclaim Brady guilty with a false “11 of 12” story. In the case of Manning and the other players it’s been 9 months since the story and they’ve yet to even be interviewed

  40. bstngrdn says:
    Aug 16, 2016 12:25 PM
    The problem isn’t so much that the language that was accepted in the contract gave Goodell the power he has. Even with that power , although extraordinary, the NFLPA had every right to assume that the power would be applied fairly and consistently.

    ——————————————————-

    Exactly. The concept of legally acceptable arbitration transcends any particular contract or pair of participants and should be maintained as such if it is going to remain a useful alternative to litigation.

  41. Goodell does not want gb or pitt to win their divisions, hence why he protected denver and gomer last year so the pats would not go back to the super bowl.

    this is why he focuses on the more successful teams.

    more and different teams going to the postseason, means mote money for the league as a hole because the crappier or mediocre teams see the revenue they otherwise never really see, while more entrenched, successful teams do not lose money by missing the playoffs for even just 1 season.

    when goodell bent over backwards to lie about ray rice, twice, he did so knowing rice’s cap hit in 2014 was 9.5 million and the ravens play the pats tough.

    it is the only explanation as to why goodell colluded with the ravens to lie

  42. clayshair says:
    Aug 16, 2016 12:15 PM
    It’s preposterous that the NFL could regard the recanted claims of Charlie Sly, published in Al Jazeera, as “credible evidence.” What is the NFL thinking?

    Probably the same thing they were thinking when they setup Brady with Framegate. Once they got PM to safety, it’s open season on everyone else.

    Too bad Brady didn’t have the smarts to lie loudly then have his daddy send a goon squad out to squash the witnesses.

  43. This whole situation is due to the NFLPA’s incompetence, not Goodell’s arrogance. Part of the al Jazeera report dealt with HGH use prior to 2014. The NFL did not test for HGH at that time, because the NFLPA wouldn’t agree to a testing method. So, none of the players involved can point to a past test to prove their innocence….thanks to the union dragging their feet. If the union would have been reasonable on HGH testing methods in 2011 then all these players would have been tested for the past 5 years and would obviously be clean.

  44. hbegley6672 says:
    Aug 16, 2016 12:26 PM

    This is not a PED issue. This is a cooperation issue. It may evolve into a PED issue, but isn’t at the moment. If you’ve done nothing wrong, meet with them. End of story
    ==============

    Yeah, so give up your phone, your emails, your social security number, and all the pics of your wife, everything else they demand…

  45. I wonder if the unreasonable discipline by the commissioner goes back to the Ray Rice situation more than anything else. That whole situation embarrassed the commissioner, and I think he’s trying not to go soft anymore out of fear for that same embarrassment.

  46. “”Since when is Al Jazeera a credible news source?

    Since its won several international awards for journalism.

    Since its had its reporters arrested in Syria, Egypt and other islamic countries for exposing human rights violations by the regimes.

    Whether you realize it or not Al Jazeera is a better source of news in many ways than the corporations here in the US that will cover up corruption by politicians and corporations as it meets their own narrative and profit margins.

  47. I love the Pat’s fans that say everyone should have backed a cheating QB and a habitual cheating football coach/team. In all reality they should have all of their playoff appearances voided from every year Billy Cheat and Tom Baby coached/ played with them. The same team that voted in favor of the current C.B.A. Haha!

  48. The NFLPA is all at fault for this.

    I can understand needing paychecks and physical breaks from practice. However, if they were able to get less practice time, why couldn’t they get an opt-out for a 10-year deal?

    We’re five years into the current CBA and the NFLPA gets an “F.” They elected the wrong leader in “look at me,” showman wannabe De Smith, have the wrong player leaders and lack the cleverness to make the owners consequences.

    The NBA had the same lockout process as the NFL, but the NBPA was going to get an opt-out while suffering decreases in basketball-related income. Time to get new leaders among players and leaders because when you sign a 10-year deal like foolish people neglecting prenups, you’re going to cost yourself even more than you have, and the legal expenses show it.

  49. Goodell attempts to maintain a semblance of order in the NFL in an effort to save it and gets criticized for it. And by those who won’t earn in a lifetime what the Commissioner earns annually. The owners are paying him for something. And that something is preserving the game and increasing it’s worth. And he’s doing a commendable job.

    Maybe some would prefer to see the game devolve into touch football with players running amuck, breaking laws and doing whatever they please. Don’t forget concussion litigation. Maybe when a seat costs $1,000 and beer $50, with all televised games on pay per view, everyone will realize what Goodell was attempting to avoid. Cretins.

  50. Roger Goodell is drunk with power! Any moron can make allegations of impropriety toward any player. Not all allegations need to be investigated. They should have some proof before any investigation is launched! This is the Ray Rice effect I guess. Every allegation launches an investigation no matter if it is completely bogus!

  51. Isn’t the league sort of sealing its own destiny in terms of the next collective bargaining agreement with the NFLPA? They should probably cool it a little bit, if they want to keep the same level of authority in the next contract. But, probably too late for that. Abuse of power is fun! Restraint sucks!

  52. uglydingo says:
    Aug 16, 2016 12:38 PM

    Excuse my ignorance. Why is it such a bad thing for the 4 players to meet with the NFL and answer their questions? Why is the immediate response to go straight to a law suit?
    _____________________

    Because they have something to hide.

  53. dsigrey says:
    Aug 16, 2016 12:31 PM
    stew48 says:
    Aug 16, 2016 12:23 PM
    Please explain where in the CBA that the Brady situation is covered…
    __________________________________
    The section regarding Equipment Violations… is that specific enough for you?
    ————————
    Wrong, dsigrey, equipment violations aren’t in the CBA and don’t apply to players, they are in team regulations. Hence why the Jets got a modest fine despite a scheme their kicker was running to improperly alter k-balls.

  54. HarrisonHits2 nails it above.

    This isn’t about Al Jazeera. This is about Gomer Manning announcing he did in fact have PEDs shipped to his Florida home.

    If that never happened, then and only then, thinking Al Jazeera has no credence here, would make sense.

    The Al Jazeera complaint is as much of a red herring as Brady getting a new cellphone and Goodell lying about it as being “destroyed” and never available for the “investigation” aka the infamous Framejob.

  55. avisteelersfan says:
    Aug 16, 2016 12:27 PM
    The reality is the owners support Goodell. Dallas and Washington got hosed out of draft picks. New England got hosed period. Steelers and Packers now facing issues on Linebackers.
    But.
    The owners employ and support Goodell. Hmmm. So maybe beating the NFLPA is the real gameday for these fellas. You think?

    LOL
    And don’t forget the Dolphins and New Orleans. Maybe sooner or later Goodell will tick off enough teams that the owners will “interview” him.

  56. The player’s association has to stand up to Goodell and defend their dues paying members.

    I don’t see how the union can let the NFL suspend these players if they don’t agree to the interviews with Goodell

    Peyton Manning sold his union brothers out when he agreed to be interviewed. This gave Goodell the opening to expand his powers

  57. bstngrdn says:
    Aug 16, 2016 12:25 PM
    The problem isn’t so much that the language that was accepted in the contract gave Goodell the power he has. Even with that power , although extraordinary, the NFLPA had every right to assume that the power would be applied fairly and consistently. Obviously that has not been the case and the Second Court of Appeals decided that was OK. That is just wrong and provides a dangerous precedent for the NFL and indeed all relationships between labor and management.

    ————————————————————–

    Exactly. If I could upvote your comment multiple times I would.

    I don’t have the ability to understand what the NFLPA’s thought process was when they entered into the current CBA but I have to believe that they’d rely on the precedent of having a rational individual (with an attorney’s training and experience) in the position of Commissioner when they agreed to the infamous section 46.

    I’m not an attorney but I think that someone like former Commissioner Tagliabue would have thought through the implications of creating a foundation for Brady’s suspension based upon his failure to provide his mobile phone. I think that former Commissioner and attorney Tagliabue would have understood that all future investigations into supposed player misconduct will necessarily require similar multi-game suspensions as punishment for perceived non – cooperation, even in situations such as deflategate where the League’s “external” counsel has acknowledged the player’s cooperation.

    The ramification of the Brady decision for NFL players is that the bar for determining what represents cooperation is set as high as the current Commissioner deems and can change whenever he decides; although it can never be set lower than a previous case because that will potentially open the League to legal action from players who have been suspended or fined previously.

    The ramification for the rest of us is that our bosses can call us in one day and say “I saw your new car and I know you can’t afford it based on what I pay you. I think you’ve been stealing from the company. Show me your financial records or you’re fired!” And potentially when you sue for lost wages, your former boss’s attorney will cite the Brady decision as precedent.

  58. orange and blue own the nfl says:

    How exactly did those dastardly haters empower Goodell? Do you hoestly believe if we all posted our outrage on PFT the NFL would’ve relented? I bet ol Rog was scouring the comment section to figure out what he should do. Lmao.

    ____________________________________

    Because this was tried in the court of public opinion first. Starting with the patently false, and not retracted, information about 11 our of 12 balls being significantly deflated being leaked at the very beginning. The NFL then repeated that information in an official document to the Patriots at which point Belichick and Brady were sent out to do press conferences based off of that “information”.

    The NFL pushed the narrative with gullible chumps like you and turned the uninformed fans of 31 teams, plus a number of Boston sports radio hosts (I’m looking at YOU Felger and Mazz, especially) against the Pats without one shred of actual evidence.
    Once the rest of the league’s fans were sufficiently against the Pats, Goodell was able to interpret the Wells Report (which was edited by NFL counsel first to make sure it was incriminating enough) in a way that he could punish Brady and the Pats how he saw fit.

    Then no one cared about the injustice in Goodell moving the goalposts at Brady’s “arbitration” hearing, where lack of evidence wasn’t what got him the punishment but a destroyed cell phone that Brady was told they didn’t need/want. That turned it from equipment violation (vindicated on that charge) to obstruction (falsely accused considering what was asked AND what is actually required according the the CBA – hint… a player cannot be forced to turn over his cell phone)

    Goodell has been able to do whatever he wanted because he demonized Brady and the Patriots to the rest of the league and so he moved on without any real scrutiny, outside of Boston and a few reformed journalists who saw this for what it really was. Brady was guilty until proven innocent (which didn’t matter in the end, anyway) and the fans of 31 teams cheered Goodell on, because.. well… they hate Brady.

    Your complicity, and a media that was only too happy to crucify Brady for something he is innocent of, definitely empowered Goodell to rise to this place. Hope you’re happy.

  59. Goodell run amuck.

    No evidence convicts Brady.

    Proof will never be needed to punish players again
    _________________________________

    That’s because Brady destroyed the evidence, was evasive in his answers and patriots organization did not allow the investigators to interview the assistance a second time. When you don’t cooperate then the NFL has the ability to punish you. It’s in the bi-laws and upheld by the courts.

  60. dsigrey says:
    Aug 16, 2016 12:31 PM

    stew48 says:
    Aug 16, 2016 12:23 PM
    Please explain where in the CBA that the Brady situation is covered by specific section? No? Then, that is why it went to 46. NOT the case here. I look for a NFPLA win, eventually.
    __________________________________
    The section regarding Equipment Violations… is that specific enough for you?
    ________________________________
    I say this as someone who felt that the NFL going after a team/player for under-inflated footballs was about the dumbest thing ever in professional sports. Still, the fact that there is a provision in the rules for Equipment Violations does not mean that any offense related to equipment is covered by the provisions therein. Suppose an OL was soaking his wristbands in some toxic chemical and getting them near enough to the DL’s faces to render them ineffective. Are you going to penalize him for wearing a non-standard uniform? Of course not.

    So while again, the league was behaving foolishly going after Brady and the Pats over what was probably not even the tiniest of unfair competitive advantages, I understand why the court ruled that the NFL has that right. Indeed, the League has to have the right to police any situation in some manner – they just need to exercise that power in that regard responsibly.

    This is in complete contrast to the case of the “Al Jazerra 4”. Here there is not CREDIBLE evidence of anything. There is highly questionable evidence that possibly quantities of HGH were shipped to an address at which these players resided. Since the league policies say nothing about possession of HGH, there is nothing but supposition upon suggestion to indicate that the players ever used the banned substances.

    But even if there was credible evidence, there is no logical reason why such a potential violation would not be handled under the PED/banned substances policies and procedures in the CBA, rather than the Conduct Detrimental to the League provisions. I guess if one of these guys was a Columbian drug lord then maybe, but clearly that is not the case.

    If the NFLPA allows the NFL to deny these players the protections afforded under the CBA for banned substance violations, it essentially negates them. I hope the NFLPA takes this to court and wins, and in the next CBA, I hope the NFLPA negotiates at least a token process wherein player representatives can make a case in front of the owners that the decisions of the NFL commissioner are detrimental to the league.

  61. The NFL suspended Brady for failure to cooperate with a league investigation. That is clearly stated in Troy Vincent’s letter. The appeals court upheld that ruling and went on to castigate Brady in their opinion of April 25 for destroying evidence he was obligated to produce, and providing testimony that wasn’t credible.

    The NFL is now empowered by the courts to suspend players for not fully cooperating with an investigation. That’s what’s happening here – they’re requesting the cooperation of certain players in the current PED investigation. The union says they’re taking the case to the SCOTUS. But the SCOTUS isn’t likely to hear it because the league won similar rulings from two separate appeals courts (Brady, Peterson) so there is no dispute for them to resolve.

  62. If you allow players with too much power-it becomes the NBA or MLB.

    Both those sports suck because of guaranteed contracts and AVERAGE play.

    Like it or not, the stronger the owners are supports a BETTER product.

    If you were an owner, you would LOVE Goodell. Even Kraft understands the value of Goodell for the NFL brand.

    Hate him all you want, he is good for the NFL. It’s that simple.

  63. When your boss tells you he needs to talk about your job performance and you tell him to shove it…………….let me know how that works for ya.

    In the meantime, Fan Boy Army, if you are so emotionally damaged by how the League is run, why don’t you boycott the NFL??

  64. Here we go again making this about Tom Shady. Test him for HGH please! He used! It’s obvious. Just like Harrison and a bunch of Packers are obvious. Harrison doesn’t even matter anyways between Bryant and Bell being morons the Ravens are going to walk right into the AFC title game. Hopefully to play Mr Shady since Baltimore OWNS the Patriots. They had to cheat in order to win two years ago. Not this time though!

  65. Just as a reminder this those of you who continue saying it: every time you say “Brady cheated” you are announcing to the world that you are not smart enough to pass high school physics. Doesn’t strike me as a good look, but then I’m not a moron.

  66. Maybe it’s my age and I just don’t remember, however this constant fighting between the NFLPA and the NFL didn’t happen when a former Raider and HOF’er was running the show. With old age we tend to forget but I just don’t recall Jean and Paul fighting like these two bozos!

  67. stew48 says:
    Aug 16, 2016 12:23 PM
    Please explain where in the CBA that the Brady situation is covered by specific section? No? Then, that is why it went to 46. NOT the case here. I look for a NFPLA win, eventually.
    ————–
    Ummm…how about equipment violations and a $25K fine?

  68. “They should just go in an be interviewed. Take their medicine. Every outside of Pitt and GB knows they all cheated.”

    Is that how it goes Hatriots?

    Charlie may be Sly, but when being filmed without his knowledge, he had all of the candor of a foot-loose, fancy free, enterprising young drug dealer on Sodium Pentothal, trying to build his clientele.
    It’s his “recanting” that stinks to high heaven.

    Peyton* is a fraud and so are the rest of these clowns.

    Cheaters** All of em!!

    Might as well admit boys and take your medicine like MEN.
    you’ll be back in week 5 to continue chompin’ on PEDS

  69. @superpatriotsfan,

    Why don’t you tell us what team you’re a fan of so I can educate you on its cheating history?

    You are obviously ignoring the fact that all 32 teams have repeatedly been caught doing naughty things over the last 20-30 years.

    Oh that’s right, if you admit who you’re a fan of you’d have to acknowledge their cheating, and the fact that all the cheater cheater bleating you do applies to your own team.

    That’s called a double standard by the way and invalidates any complaint you have about the Pats.

  70. contra74 says:
    Aug 16, 2016 12:40 PM

    The Packers super bowl win now has an asterisk attached to it.

    ///////////////////

    The Vikings’ trophy case…….. has …… …….. never mind, they don’t own one.

  71. So to you know it alls that claimed Brady destroyed his phone because he was guilty maybe now you understand. Ask yourself one question – where would you draw the line?

    Phone?
    Texts?
    Emails?
    Credit Card Statements?
    Personal journals?
    Voice mail?
    Not so simple is it yet with the recent ruling the NFL can ask for whatever it wants.
    If it wasn’t Brady it would be one of the next guys in Goodell’s march on the union. Now you deal with the BS.

  72. @harrisonhits2

    The Ravens are one of the most honest francishes out there. They have not had cheating scandals on the level of the Patriots or the Steelers roided up offensive line. Only cheaters use that excuse of everyone cheats. FACT. The Patriots cheated in 07 and 2015 AFC Divisional and Title game. They deflated footballs and used illegal formations. They “won” the game against the Ravens. Only way that they could beat Flacco and our tremendous defense.

    FACT: Steelers four titles in the 70s are tainted due to steroids.
    FACT: Green Bay’s last title is tainted due to Rodgers doctoring the ball and widespread PED usage on that team.

    Look, not everyone can have it as good as us. Have a GM like us in Ozzie Newsome or an Owner as good as what we have. I get it.

  73. I’m pretty sure that the NFLPA didn’t think that the CBA entailed waiving Fourth and Fifth Amendment rights when they agreed to it. Bizarre that any courts would think that it did. But after the debacle of the 2nd Circuit ruling who knows that the courts really think?

    Is there any other setting where “cooperation” implies “waiving rights”?

  74. “But the SCOTUS isn’t likely to hear it because the league won similar rulings from two separate appeals courts (Brady, Peterson) so there is no dispute for them to resolve.”

    SCOTUS also hears cases when they think the lower courts screwed up. They don’t necessarily wait for the existence of disputes.

    But it would certainly help thinks if they had a 9th justice. With a 4-4 split they’re unlikely to hear any case unless they feel there are at least five votes on one side.

  75. “The reality is that the NFL is going to push this envelope until it repeatedly loses in court OR costs them at the box office.”

    Actually until the twits named Parker and Chin wrote their error-filled opinion, the NFL was on a long losing streak.

    Problem is that Tweedledee and Tweedledum made their ruling in the NFL’s home jurisdiction. So in any future cases they’ll do what they did here – make a pre-emptive filing in NY whenever they face a problem.

  76. riraider says:
    Aug 16, 2016 2:45 PM
    Maybe it’s my age and I just don’t remember, however this constant fighting between the NFLPA and the NFL didn’t happen when a former Raider and HOF’er was running the show. With old age we tend to forget but I just don’t recall Jean and Paul fighting like these two bozos!

    ——————————————————–

    I’m afraid it might be your age. I think that Mr. Upshaw learned what the owners thought of players when Tex Schramm told him: “”You guys are cattle, and we’re the ranchers. And ranchers can always get more cattle.”

  77. ” Still, the fact that there is a provision in the rules for Equipment Violations does not mean that any offense related to equipment is covered by the provisions therein.”

    And you go on to make an absurd comparison to a situation where a person was somehow trying to use his wristbands to poison other players (how this player would himself be immune is beyond me….but hey, it’s your hypothetical).

    The question is why the rule should be on the book if not for this situation? Surely nobody has accused the Patriots of doing anything exceptional. Why have this fine on the books? The argument the NFL has used is that this alleged violation attacks the “integrity of the game”? But which violation doesn’t attack the “integrity of the game”? There’s a basic rule in interpreting law that if you have a specific punishment for a specific rule violation, that should supercede any general punishment for something more general like “conduct detrimental”. But the NFL argued the opposite.

    And the ill-informed Judges Parker and Chin bought the argument. Apparently their level of interest went no further than “we think Brady was guilty so we think the NFL should be able to punish him as they see fit.”

    Their legal argument is a travesty. That it is tacitly based on a mis-reading of the facts of the case makes the shame doubly egregious.

  78. froggo14 says:
    Aug 16, 2016 2:01 PM

    The NFL suspended Brady for failure to cooperate with a league investigation. That is clearly stated in Troy Vincent’s letter. The appeals court upheld that ruling and went on to castigate Brady in their opinion of April 25 for destroying evidence he was obligated to produce, and providing testimony that wasn’t credible.
    —————————–

    Brady was primarily suspended for allegedly maybe being generally aware that two other people might have done something, and failing to cooperate with an investigation, even though the “independent” investigator claimed he had cooperated fully.

    The appeals court vacated the suspension, and the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals inexplicably overturned Berman’s ruling, releasing their decision on May 25th.

    Brady was under no obligation to provide any information from his personal phone, and the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals was in no position to rule on Brady’s credibility.

    I’m guessing you spelled your username right, so you have something there.

  79. streetyson says:
    Aug 16, 2016 1:08 PM
    dsigrey says:

    __________________________________
    The section regarding Equipment Violations… is that specific enough for you?
    ————————
    Wrong, dsigrey, equipment violations aren’t in the CBA and don’t apply to players, they are in team regulations. Hence why the Jets got a modest fine despite a scheme their kicker was running to improperly alter k-balls.
    ___________________________________

    Exactly… The Pats should have gotten a fine, you’re making my point!

  80. just as air pressure was a ruse to get more power so is this issue.

    unintended consequences are now being reaped by the two stooge NY sitting judges on the bench who could not see this had nothing to do with a phone.

    the briefs filed by arbitration experts foresaw this, the moron judges didn’t.

    this is why the USSC needs to hear the Brady case.

  81. Hey, all Pat fans and Goodell haters, go a question for you and I would lke your take on this. What if this isn’t about Goodell and the NFL? What if it is only about the NFLA leveraging total obedience out of their union members? Think about, Tom Brady has pissed the union off for years regarding his salary. It is well documented that Brady’s salary was well blow that of Peyton’s and other qbs. Union felt he was driving down the rate of qbs. Now we are at deflategate. Brady never once went to the union for representation. He followed his lawyers and agents advice. When asked for thr requested material, Brady declined. He never gave a reason. He refused to have a union rep at his interview with Wells, and one was on site. Seriously, could this be more about the union being kicked in the nuts by Brady rather then what is in the best interest of the game and the players?

  82. limakey says:
    Aug 16, 2016 4:05 PM

    What if it is only about the NFLA leveraging total obedience out of their union members? Think about, Tom Brady has pissed the union off for years regarding his salary. It is well documented that Brady’s salary was well blow that of Peyton’s and other qbs. Union felt he was driving down the rate of qbs.
    ——————————–

    It’s extremely obvious to even the most casual observer that Tom Brady’s salary had absolutely no effect on the salaries of any other quarterback in the league.

    All I read about whenever they announce a quarterbacks salary is that they are being paid too much.

    As for your other allegation, just who do you think Jeffrey Kessler works for? Do you really think Brady was on his own throughout all of psigate?

    Every action Brady took was for the best interest of the game and the players.

    You can see what a megalomaniac Integrity Goodell has become since bribing those two Federal judges to rule in his favor.

  83. Integrity Goodell is a power hungry commissioner, ostensibly working at the behest of the owners, but for the life of me, I can’t figure out what good it is doing anyone to have all of this stuff constantly leaked to the press.

    One of these days, that bozo is going to be looking down at a Federal subpoena, and none of the owners want any part of the Feds looking into the inner workings of the NFL.

  84. MMack, seriously? Do you ever do any research? It is common knowledge for the casual observer just reading PFT that often players use what other players make as leverage. And even the most casual Pats fan knows Brady, for his elite status, is grossly underpaid. Your ignorance is astounding. If it wasn’t, you would know the union never got involved until after the intial 4 game suspension. Every move Brady made was in his best interest, nobody elses.

  85. mmack66 says:
    Brady was primarily suspended for allegedly maybe being generally aware that two other people might have done something, and failing to cooperate with an investigation, even though the “independent” investigator claimed he had cooperated fully.

    The appeals court vacated the suspension, and the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals inexplicably overturned Berman’s ruling, releasing their decision on May 25th.

    Brady was under no obligation to provide any information from his personal phone, and the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals was in no position to rule on Brady’s credibility.
    =================================
    You couldn’t be more wrong Mrs. Mack.
    Judge Berman sits on the federal court bench for the Southern District of New York, NOT on the appeals court bench.

    The Second Circuit Court of Appeals issued its ruling on April 25, NOT May 25. Wrong again!

    “Although Brady testified that he was following his ordinary practice of disposing of old cell phones in order to protect his privacy, he had nonetheless retained phones he had used before and after the relevant time frame.” This is from Page 9 of the appeals court’s opinion and they are clearly challenging Brady’s credibility.

    “Finally, any reasonable litigant would understand that the destruction of evidence, revealed just days before the start of arbitration proceedings, would be an important issue. It is well established that the law permits a trier of fact to infer that a party who deliberately destroys relevant evidence the party had an obligation to produce did so in order to conceal damaging information from the adjudicator.” This is from Page 25 of the circuit court’s decision. They clearly say that Brady had an obligation to produce the cell phone evidence. They are challenging his credibility again, and they ruled that the Commissioner had reason to deem his testimony to be not credible.

    On Page 8 of their opinion the appeals court says Brady was suspended for his “failure to cooperate fully and candidly with the investigation”.

    I suggest you read the decision of the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals, along with the Vincent letter, before you spout off and reveal your ignorance on the subject.

  86. To lscottman3

    It’s not just the two “morons” as you called them who ruled against Brady. The entire Second Circuit bench refused to hear the case when Brady pleaded with them to do it. If he had any substantial support at all within the Second Circuit, he would have been granted an en banc hearing.

  87. limakey says:
    Aug 16, 2016 4:05 PM
    Hey, all Pat fans and Goodell haters, go a question for you and I would lke your take on this. What if this isn’t about Goodell and the NFL? What if it is only about the NFLA leveraging total obedience out of their union members? Think about, Tom Brady has pissed the union off for years regarding his salary…..
    ____________________________________
    Brady long considered a a union leader. His name and Manning were the top billing in the last CBA negotiations/law suit. Brady’s salary was never that big of a deal to the union. He always got huge signing bonuses. Seeing as how NFL contracts are not guaranteed it’s pretty much a moot point.

  88. limakey says:
    Aug 16, 2016 8:04 PM

    MMack, seriously? Do you ever do any research? It is common knowledge for the casual observer just reading PFT that often players use what other players make as leverage. And even the most casual Pats fan knows Brady, for his elite status, is grossly underpaid. Your ignorance is astounding. If it wasn’t, you would know the union never got involved until after the intial 4 game suspension. Every move Brady made was in his best interest, nobody elses.
    ——————————

    Brady is not grossly underpaid.

    His salary didn’t seem to be an issue when Peyton Manning became the highest paid quarterback, or when Joe Flacco became the highest paid quarterback, or when Drew Brees became the highest paid quarterback, or when Aaron Rodgers became the highest paid quarterback, or when Andrew Luck became the highest paid quarterback, or when any other quarterback signs a huge contract.

    What more did you want the NFLPA to do during the psigate investigation?

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