NFL

NFL AM: Goodell to hear Brady’s appeal

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Goodell to hear Brady’s appeal

Tom Brady will get a chance to appeal his four-game suspension in a court of one — which is not what he was hoping for.

Commissioner Roger Goodell will hear the case directly rather than an independent arbitrator that was requested by the NFL Players Association.

“Commissioner Goodell will hear the appeal of Tom Brady’s suspension in accordance with the process agreed upon with the NFL Players Association in the 2011 collective bargaining agreement,” was the official statement by league spokesman Greg Aiello.

The NFLPA feels Brady won’t get a fair shake without an independent arbitrator.

“Given the NFL’s history of inconsistency and arbitrary decisions in disciplinary matters, it is only fair that a neutral arbitrator hear this appeal,” the union said in a Thursday statement released prior to Goodell’s decision. “If Ted Wells and the NFL believe, as their public comments stated, that the evidence in their report is ‘direct’ and ‘inculpatory,’ then they should be confident enough to present their case before someone who is truly independent.”

Brady is lawyering up with Jeffrey Kessler, who has had success going up against the league before. His work in the case McNeil v. NFL opened the door for unrestricted free agency. He also represented Bill Belichick when the latter escaped his contract to coach the Jets to move to New England at the cost of a draft pick.

Patriots launch website to question Wells Report

Rather than take their punishment sitting down, the Patriots are doubling down on a rather shaky defense by launching a website that directly challenges multiple items cited in the Wells Report.

This isn’t just a regular old website. Wellsreportcontext.com is a 20,000-word monster (no word on whether Bill Simmons was involved in all that writing) put together by team attorney Daniel L. Goldberg.

The rebuttal claims that the Wells Report ignored “scientific explanations for the loss of psi.” And then it goes on to take us for buffoons.

The text message in which equipment manager Jim McNally refers to himself as “The Deflator” is explained as a joke in reference to his attempts to lose weight. Look out, Dennis Leary! You’re not going to be Boston’s most famous comic much longer!

The text “I’m not going to espn…. yet” is explained as a reference to an incident in which equipment assistant John Jastremski was reprimanded for giving McNally a free pair of shoes.
Right.

“These inferences ignore the testimony given by both the author and the recipient of various ill-stated attempts at humor contained in texts,” the rebuttal states. “No witness gave the texts the meaning that the report attributes to them. No independent evidence confirmed how the report interprets the texts. The report simply speculates that all the selected texts had to do with improper football deflation after the referee’s inspection, although not a single text mentions any such thing.”

Please. Someone… anyone. Make it all stop.

Seahawks Irvin says he will join Falcons in 2016

Disgruntled players are nothing new. But what Bruce Irvin did Wednesday night may have taken things in a direction we’ve never seen before.

The Seahawks defensive end, deeply annoyed that Seattle declined his fifth-year option, told Black Sports Online “I’m going to be in Atlanta next season. I’m ready.”

Of course, Irvin still has the matter of playing another season for the Seahawks to get through.

Irvin is an Atlanta native, and former Seahawks defensive coordinator Dan Quinn is about to start his first season as the Falcons head coach. However, The Falcons can’t say anything about the matter without drawing tampering charges from the league.


About Alex Hickey

Alex Hickey

Alex Hickey can vividly recall most significant NFL events going back to Walter Payton's final game in 1987, including the ones that didn't make him cry. Since 2008, his full-time job has been covering college football, specifically McNeese State, for the Lake Charles (La.) American Press. Free time is spent informing, amusing or annoying you for Football Insiders.