The NFL is officially playing hardball with New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and the National Football League Players Association.
According to Bleacher Report’s Mike Freeman, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell will oversee Brady’s appeal of a four-game suspension levied against him by the league due to his alleged role in Deflategate.
NFL source: Roger Goodell will hear Tom Brady's appeal. Yes, the commissioner will hear it. More on this story soon.
— mike freeman (@mikefreemanNFL) May 15, 2015
Talk about a heavy-handed approach by a league office that has already put itself out there by laying such an extensive penalty on both Brady and the Patriots.
As unprecedented as Brady’s suspension might have been, Freeman’s report suggests that the league itself is not going to back down from the union. In reality, it’s more surprising than the four-game suspension handed down to Brady.
It also puts the NFL in a difficult spot when it comes to both collective bargaining and arbitration. The Missouri Supreme Court just shot down Goodell’s power of arbitration in a case two weeks ago. By reportedly choosing Goodell to oversee Brady’s appeal, things could get a lot more interesting from a legal perspective.
The NFLPA announced officially on Thursday that Brady will appeal the four-game suspension. In that release, the union emphasized its belief that a third-party arbitrator should oversee Brady’s appeal.
I think we can all agree that Goodell isn’t a neutral arbitrator here.
Photo: USA Today Sports