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Deflate Gate: Suspension Upheld, What's Next for Tom Brady?

The NFL has dug in their heels and elected to uphold the suspension on the grounds of Brady "destroying" his cell phone. For my knowledge, I don't know what the circumstances surrounding Brady "destroying" his phone is so I won't speculate as to why or use it to incriminate him. Call it ignorance or call me a homer, I really don't care. If I was in Brady's position, I wouldn't give any of the NFL stooges my cell phone and would make them go to Federal Court to get those records because there is nothing in the Collective Bargaining Agreement that forces me to do so. The NFL front office has shown no signs of integrity or trustworthiness the last two calendar years.

Three years ago, the same thing happened to the New Orleans Saints. The Saints were investigated over intentionally trying to injure players despite the fact the only player carted off the field was one of their own players. Goodell later suspended Sean Payton and Mickey Loomis for being aware of this happening and ignorance not being an excuse for blame. Jonathan Vilma, Scott Fujita, and Anthony Hargrove were issued suspensions of varying length with Hargrove and Fujita getting 4 games while Vilma got a full year ban. Like what Tom Brady is planning to do, Vilma sued in Federal Court to overturn the suspension. The NFL retaliated by letting the clock run out and Vilma ended up sitting out the year anyway before the court overturned the suspension. That's not a mistake the NFLPA and Tom Brady will make this time around.

So the first step is taking the NFL to court. The reports saying that both sides were considering a settlement for a 1-game suspension is false because Brady wants full enoxeration and won't settle for anything. Reports speculate that Brady will likely either file in Minnesota or Massachusetts. In order to avoid a similar situation that Vilma had in 2012, Brady needs to file an injunction to hold off the suspension until a ruling from the courts come out. I find it likely that Brady will be able to successfully stay the suspension and no doubt that Brady suits up in Week 1 against the Pittsburgh Steelers and the 15 subsequent regular season games. This court case is not getting settled during the middle of the season, Brady's representatives can push back the hearings until the off-season if the judge is permitting.

This is a battle the NFLPA wants to take on, because it has a lot of future precedent on the line. The NFLPA does not want Roger Goodell as the arbitrator because he is the commissioner of the NFL and can't be independent. The PA certainly could have avoided this in the CBA negotiations in 2011, but when players were running out of money they caved. Another big issue in this case is the issue with Brady's cell phone. As I stated earlier, there is nothing in the CBA that allows for Goodell to coerce Brady to turn over his cell phone or their records. The NFL clearly does not have that power, and Brady is well within his rights to exercise his 4th and 5th amendment rights. The PA instructed Brady and Gostkowski to not turn over their cell phones and will certainly fight to remove Roger Goodell from being able to hear appeals and have more independent parties hearing them.

I have to imagine that Tom Brady is angry over the suspension and his name being dragged through the mud for the last six months. When Tom Brady is angry, it's never a good thing for the opposing defense. I honestly wouldn't be surprised if Brady attacks with a scorched earth strategy and puts up 35+ points in every game this season. If Tom Brady wasn't motivated enough to win a Super Bowl, this farce of an investigation certainly added to the chip on his shoulder. I would not be surprised if Brady breaks Manning's single season TD pass record and the Patriots break the scoring record for a single season. I won't outright call a 16-0 regular season, but certainly my 13-win prediction is very possible at this point. With the Deflate Gate punishments now up to the courts, the focus is now on winning Lombardi #5 for Tom Brady.