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Tom Brady’s suspension back on

Tom Brady must serve a four-game "Deflategate" suspension imposed by the NFL.

Bart HubbuchNew York Post

TOM Brady’s four-game Deflategate suspension is back on.

A federal appeals court reinstated the ban Monday morning while delivering a stinging rebuke to both the NFL Players Association and the judge who originally overturned Roger Goodell’s suspension of the Patriots star.

Brady’s only hope now is a hearing before the full membership of the Second Circuit Court of Appeals or an assist from the US Supreme Court after a three-judge panel sent the case back to federal Judge Richard Berman but without the discretion to scrap the suspension a second time.

That means Brady is almost certain to miss the Patriots’ first four games: the season opener at the Cardinals, followed by three consecutive home games against the Dolphins, Texans and Bills. Jimmy Garoppolo is expected to start in Brady’s place.

The 2-1 decision, written by Judge Barrington D. Parker, had been telegraphed by the appeals court last month through their withering questions for NFLPA lawyer Jeffrey Kessler and upheld the wide swath of discretionary powers Goodell had to suspend Brady for what the league said was a long-running scheme to deflate footballs.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell was vindicated by the federal appeals court.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell was vindicated by the federal appeals court.Source:AP

Brady’s arguments ‘made no sense whatsoever’

The appeals ruling was in sharp contrast to Berman’s original decision last September in which the Manhattan-based judge blistered Goodell and the league for overreach and procedural errors in Brady’s arbitration appeal, labelling it the commissioner’s “own brand of industrial justice.”

But the appeals court disagreed, citing the enormous leeway given to arbitrators in the arbitration process and all but mocking the players union for granting Goodell the power — in the 2011 labour fight — to be both judge and jury when it comes to suspending players.

“Had the parties wished to restrict the Commissioner’s authority, they could have fashioned a different agreement,” the judges said in their decision.

At oral arguments in March, appeals judges seemed sceptical of arguments on Brady’s behalf by the NFL Players Association.

Circuit Judge Denny Chin said evidence of ball tampering was “compelling, if not overwhelming” and there was evidence that Brady “knew about it, consented to it, encouraged it.” The league argued that it was fair for Goodell to severely penalise Brady after he concluded the prize quarterback tarnished the game by impeding the NFL’s investigation by destroying a cellphone containing nearly 10,000 messages.

Parker said the cellphone destruction raised the stakes “from air in a football to compromising the integrity of a proceeding that the commissioner had convened.” “So why couldn’t the commissioner suspend Mr. Brady for that conduct alone?” he asked. Parker added: “With all due respect, Mr. Brady’s explanation of that made no sense whatsoever.”

The appeals court held that Tom Brady’s actions compromised the integrity of a proceeding that the NFL commissioner had convened.

The appeals court held that Tom Brady’s actions compromised the integrity of a proceeding that the NFL commissioner had convened.Source:AP

Brady knew this was coming

Brady may act surprised over the court-ordered reinstatement of his four-game Deflategate suspension, but his financial planning says otherwise.

Months before Monday’s bombshell ruling, back in February, Brady agreed to a contract extension with the Patriots that paid him a comfy $28 million signing bonus and reduced his base salary in 2016 (and 2017) to just $1 million.

Why is that relevant? Because now, the multi-millionaire quarterback — with the multi-millionaire supermodel wife — stands to lose approximately $235,000 in salary. Before ripping up his previous contract, Brady was scheduled to make $9 million in salary, of which he would have forfeited north of $2 million in the event of the NFL getting his ban restored.

That’s $1.88 million in savings, without adjusting for inflation.

This article originally appeared in the New York Post

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