There was this thing called "Deflategate" in the NFL last season and it led to a 4-game suspension for a certain well-known QB. 5Dimes has some updated odds on what might happen to Tom Brady.
On Tuesday, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell upheld the four-game suspension he gave to Brady for Brady's purported role in having those footballs deflated before the AFC Championship Game in January against the Indianapolis Colts. That Goodell upheld the full four games surprised many as it was expected he would reduce it at least by half. In fact, there were reports that the NFL had told Brady's representatives that it would reduce it by at least 50 percent if he just came clean and publicly apologized. But Brady wants his name cleared and no suspension, only a fine.
What really broke the Internet on Tuesday was Goodell's reasoning for keeping the full suspension in place: that Brady obstructed the investigation because he had his assistant destroy his cell phone either the day before or day of that he was supposed to meet with investigator Ted Wells. The NFL thinks there are incriminating texts on that phone of Brady communicating after "Deflategate" with the equipment guys who allegedly messed with the balls. Now that information is apparently not retrievable. Brady said he always destroys old phones when he gets new ones. That sounds pretty shaky.
Here's the NFL statement on that: "On or shortly before March 6, the day that Tom Brady met with independent investigator Ted Wells and his colleagues, Brady directed that the cell phone he had used for the prior four months be destroyed. He did so even though he was aware that the investigators had requested access to text messages and other electronic information that had been stored on that phone. During the four months that the cell phone was in use, Brady had exchanged nearly 10,000 text messages, none of which can now be retrieved from that device. The destruction of the cell phone was not disclosed until June 18, almost four months after the investigators had first sought electronic information from Brady."
To be fair, Brady was under no legal obligation to hand over his phone to the NFL. And Brady wrote this on his Facebook page on Wednesday: "To suggest that I destroyed a phone to avoid giving the NFL information it requested is completely wrong."
So now we head to federal court in New York.
Find A Middle Ground Already!
The NFL certainly doesn't want this dark cloud hanging over the league when the season begins on Sept. 10 with the Patriots hosting the Pittsburgh Steelers; New England is currently -3 on NFL odds. This will be all anyone talks about for the first month of the season, with Brady now set to return in Week 6 at the Colts -- wow, will that get good ratings if the suspension stands. The Patriots are furious with the league but also would like to know how long they have to live without their franchise player. As of now, second-year Jimmy Garoppolo would get the start with Matt Flynn as the No. 2.
Judge Richard Berman of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, who is hearing the case, wrote in an order Thursday that “While this litigation is ongoing, it is appropriate (and helpful) for all counsel and all parties in this case to tone down their rhetoric. ... He also suggested the sides come to their own resolution: "The parties and counsel are directed forthwith actively to begin to pursue a mutually acceptable resolution of the case. The earth is already sufficiently scorched, the Court's view."
On Friday, CBSSports.com reported that the NFL and NFLPA have agreed to find a "final resolution" to the matter before the 2015 NFL season begins. In a letter to Berman, lawyers for the sides requested the matter be expedited prior to the Patriots' first game. This is schedule the sides propose:
*-Aug. 7: NFLPA and NFL cross move to vacate and confirm the suspension
*-Aug. 14: Both parties file "respective papers" in support of those motions
*-Schedule a date for oral arguments that would "enable a decision to be rendered by Sept. 4, when Brady's team must prepare for its first regular-season game."
So even if the NFL and NFLPA can't agree on their own, then the sides want the court to do so, but that's moving awfully fast through the legal system. The odds at 5Dimes have Brady suspended Week 1 at -170 and not at +130. There's always the possibility the NFLPA can get an injunction so Brady could play while the case is ongoing. That Brady's suspension is eliminated totally is +330. That he is suspended any game in 2015 is -450.
NFL Free Pick: The NFL can't possibly let Brady off the hook with just a fine now. Goodell would look terrible. And I don't think the NFLPA can win in court, at least hearing what legal experts are saying. Brady will finally relent, apologize and be suspended only for the opener.