The New England Patriots franchise has officially sided with quarterback Tom Brady and the NFL Players Association in a legal capacity. The Patriots have filed an amicus brief with the Second Circuit in support of Brady. While the Patriots are not technically a party in the case, they are making their strongest statement that they are against the league's decision.
"From the outset of this matter the League's conduct reflects less a search for the truth than pursuit of a pre-determined result and defense of a report which, despite no direct evidence of tampering or Mr. Brady's involvement, was relied on to impose penalties with no precedent or correlation to the alleged offense," the Patriots wrote in a footnote on the first page.
The basis of the Patriots brief is that the Paul Weiss lawyers, paid for by the NFL, held crucial information that could prove Brady's innocence, but was withheld during the league-sanctioned appeals process. The Patriots claim that Brady's innocence could have been proven with that information, and the appeals process run by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell was a sham that violated legal precedence.
The Patriots filed the brief stating they "have a strong interest in the outcome of this appeal," because, well, Tom Brady. Brady is currently expected to be suspended for the first four games of the 2016 season because of DeflateGate.
ESPN's Adam Schefter notes that the last time a franchise "took legal action" against the NFL was with Raiders owner Al Davis. While the Patriots aren't suing the league, they are clearly staking their ground against the NFL.