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NFLPA, Brady plan to fight any ban

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The NFL Players Association and Tom Brady would likely head to federal court if any of the New England Patriots quarterback’s four-game suspension remains for his alleged role in Deflategate.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell is expected to announce a ruling this week on Brady’s appeal of his four-game suspension.

ABC News and ESPN legal analyst Ryan Smith cited NFLPA sources that the union will go to federal court to challenge the league if Brady still is suspended for any games.

Goodell said last week a decision on Brady’s appeal is “coming soon” and possibly this week.

Brady and representatives from the NFLPA met with Goodell for more than 10 hours on June 23 at the league headquarters in New York.

Goodell personally heard the appeal. The NFLPA had asked Goodell to recuse himself from hearing the appeal because he could not be impartial and might be called as a witness.

Brady’s legal team called as witnesses NFL executive vice president of football operations Troy Vincent, who issued Brady’s four-game ban, and Ted Wells, the league’s lead investigator in the scandal.

The NFL suspended Brady for the first four games of the 2015 season in connection with the Patriots using underinflated footballs in the AFC Championship Game against the Indianapolis Colts in January. During the game, the Colts believed that Brady and the Patriots were using footballs that were improperly deflated.

The 243-page Wells report released on May 6 concluded that the Patriots “more probable than not” violated NFL rules and Brady “was at least generally aware of the inappropriate activities” of the deflated game balls.


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