New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady appeared before NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell Tuesday in an appeal hearing to request that the league overturn his four-game suspension for the upcoming season. The penalty was doled out following the NFL’s investigation into deflated footballs during the AFC Championship game in January against the Indianapolis Colts, often referred to as Deflategate.
Brady made the appeal with the help of an NFL union-appointed attorney, Jeffrey Kessler, who said after the hearing: “We put in a very compelling case, that’s all I’ll say.” The quarterback is working to protect his reputation, and he has had the support of former teammates.
“I would like to see it eliminated completely,” said Tedy Bruschi, a former Patriots teammate of Brady’s. “I support this organization 100 percent, and I think there’s no way they should stop until it’s gone completely.”
The Costs of Tom Brady’s Suspension
Following the allegations of Deflategate, the NFL commissioned an independent investigation into the incident, called the Wells report. This study concluded that it was probable that Patriots staff had deflated balls and that Brady was at least aware of the conduct.
An analysis of the Wells report published in The New York Times, however, drew that conclusion into question. The analysts behind the piece called the Wells report “deeply flawed” and claimed that the deflation could have been explained by taking variables that affect air pressure into account. In all, the NFL paid $5 million for the investigation, according to The Boston Globe.
Brady’s four-game suspension will also have big costs for him if not overturned. He is set to earn $8 million in the coming season, and sitting out four games would cost him nearly a quarter of his season’s pay — $1.882 million, reports Boston.com.
Meanwhile, the NFL fined the Patriots team $1 million, well under the real financial penalty for Brady. Either way, both the player and team will lose big if the NFL upholds the suspension and Brady is sidelined for four games.
In any case, with Brady’s net worth estimated at $120 million, according to CelebrityNetWorth — not to mention wife Gisele Bündchen’s net worth at $320 million — the quarterback is likely more concerned with preserving his reputation than his earnings.
The Deflategate Scandal and Brady’s Appeal Hearing
In Tuesday’s appeal hearing, Brady’s request to have the suspension overturned was supported by the NFL union, the NFL Players Association (NFLPA). The NFLPA asserted after the suspension was announced that this disciplinary action was “grossly inconsistent” with the league’s handling of similar cases in the past and that the Wells report did not include enough evidence of Brady’s involvement to conclusively prove he violated NFL rules, reports USA Today.
Brady also has another reason to be in headlines: The quarterback has a cameo appearance in the upcoming film “Ted 2,” which is set to hit theaters this weekend. In the film, Deflategate is mentioned.
Photo credit: Keith Allison / Flickr