After weeks of pushing for a settlement, a federal judge has nullified Tom Brady’s four-game suspension in the DeflateGate scandal.
The case argued by Brady and the NFLPA centered on the argument that it was unfair because NFL commissioner Roger Goodell appointed himself to hear Brady’s appeal under the league’s personal conduct policy. The union had planned to call Goodell as a witness in the appeal. The NFL also refused to let the league’s chief attorney, Jeff Pash, testify at Brady’s appeal, something Judge Richard Berman seemed to take issue with over the course of the hearing this month.
Judge Berman tried to get the two sides to compromise on a settlement, rather than inject the court into the inner workings of the collective bargaining agreement between the league and the players. The NFL was reportedly unwilling to agree to a reduced punishment unless Brady accepted the findings of the Wells report, which famously determined that Brady’s “more probable than not” participation in the plan to deflate game balls for the AFC Championship subjected him to punishment.
Goodell previously claimed that the only way Brady would be able to get his suspension reduced or eliminated was if he provided new information — specifically, information that Brady initially did not provide to the Wells investigation, such as text and phone records. It’s unclear yet if Brady did present new information, or if there were other factors at play.
Brady will start in the 2015 regular season home opener against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Thursday, Sept. 10.
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