New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady‘s season will start on the bench in 2016 as the U.S. Second Court of Appeals ruled Monday that Brady’s original four-game suspension for his role in the “Deflategate” fiasco of 2015 will be reinstated as originally enforced by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.
That suspension was initially nullified this past September by judge Richard Berman. Berman found that the NFL’s evidentiary findings left much to be desired when the allegations against the Patriots deflating footballs for a competitive advantage against the Indianapolis Colts in the 2015 AFC Championship game originally surfaced.
The nullification of the suspension allowed Brady to play all of the 2015-16 season undeterred.
This is a major victory for the League and Goodell who have been made into the butt of many a joke after several notable cases (such as Ray Rice, Adrian Peterson and Greg Hardy) of NFL in-house disciple have been overturned by neutral arbitrators.
“We are pleased the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled today that the Commissioner properly exercised his authority under the collective bargaining agreement to act in cases involving the integrity of the game,” the NFL said in a statement. “That authority has been recognized by many courts and has been expressly incorporated into every collective bargaining agreement between the NFL and (the NFL Players Assocation) for the past 40 years.”
Here’s the language from the ruling reinstating the Tom Brady suspension: pic.twitter.com/R4F27Flv5K
— Will Brinson (@WillBrinson) April 25, 2016
It is unclear as to what action, if any at all, the NFL Players Association, Brady and his legal team will take in an effort to either reduce or eliminate the suspension.
New England will open the 2016 season at the Arizona Cardinals on September 11th, followed by three home games against the Miami Dolphins, Houston Texans and Buffalo Bills.
Somewhere in Buffalo, Rex Ryan is smiling.