Just when you thought everyone was ready to accept the Arizona Cardinals opening at home against the New England Patriots with Tom Brady suspended, the NFLPA and the four-time Super Bowl winner have taken Deflategate another step foward.
The NFLPA filed an appeal with the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, requesting an en banc hearing regarding the four-game suspension Brady was given by the NFL. The suspension was originally overturned in federal court and then a three-judge panel in the Second Circuit set aside that overturning, reinstating the original suspension.
Brady and the players association wish to present the case to all 13 judges, rather than the three-judge panel, to try and get the suspension again rescinded.
"This case arises from an arbitration ruling by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell that undermines the rights and expectations of parties to collective bargaining agreements, and runs roughshod over the rule of law," the lengthy appeal reads. "Goodell superintended a multimillion-dollar investigation into purported football deflation during the 2015 AFC Championship Game—an investigation he falsely portrayed as independent.
"The NFL then used the findings of that investigation to impose a severe and unprecedented punishment on New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady based on his supposed 'general awareness' of misconduct by team employees. When Brady exercised his right under the collective bargaining agreement to appeal the punishment, Goodell appointed himself as the arbitrator and 'affirmed' the punishment he had himself imposed.
"Goodell's biased, agenda-driven, and self-approving 'appeal' ruling must be vacated."
What does this mean?
First and foremost, it means this ridiculous thing with air and balls continues.
Beyond that, it means Brady has a slight chance of playing in Arizona for the season opener.
If the court agrees to hear the case and makes the decision before the season opener, the suspension would be set aside until the case is heard and a ruling is made. There is no guarantee the court will even hear the case.
According to Darren Urban, less than one percent of such requests are heard.
So will it be Tom Brady or Jimmy Garoppolo starting for the Pats? I guess we won't know for a while. No Brady means a better chance of winning for Arizona, but if Brady plays and the Cardinals still win, it sends a message to fans and the NFL the Cardinals are in business for 2016.
If you are like me, you just don't want to hear about it anymore. Suspension or no suspension, I'm just tired of the topic to begin with.