Hall of Famer
- Jul 24, 2007
Pats signed Reggie Wayne.
Pats signed Reggie Wayne.
NEW YORK â€” A federal judge deflated "Deflategate" Thursday, erasing New England quarterback Tom Brady's four-game suspension for a controversy that the NFL claimed threatened football's integrity.
U.S. District Judge Richard M. Berman said NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell went too far in affirming punishment of the Super Bowl winning quarterback. Brady has insisted he played no role in a conspiracy to deflate footballs below the allowable limit at last season's AFC championship game.
The written decision frees Brady to prepare for the Sept. 10 season opener against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
The ruling was a surprise to some legal experts who believed Berman was merely pressuring the league to settle when he criticized its handling of the investigation and discipline over the last eight months.
The league brought the scandal to Berman's Manhattan courtroom immediately once Goodell upheld Brady's four-game suspension, blasting the quarterback for arranging the destruction of his cellphone and its nearly 10,000 messages just before he was interviewed for the NFL probe. The union countersued, said Brady did nothing wrong and asked the judge to nullify the suspension.
While the league investigation found it was "more probable than not" that two Patriots ball handling employees deliberately released air from Patriots game balls at January's 45-7 New England victory over the Indianapolis Colts, it cited no direct evidence that Brady knew about or authorized it.
Goodell, though, went beyond the initial investigation report, finding in late July as a result of testimony from Brady and others that the quarterback conspired with the ball handlers and tried to obstruct the league's probe, including by destroying his cellphone.
The commissioner said he concluded Brady "knew about, approved of, consented to, and provided inducements and rewards" to ensure balls were deflated.
Berman's ruling does not necessarily end the dispute. The league can appeal.
It's official, Tom Brady's suspension has been nullified by federal courts...
I almost feel sorry for anyone playing against Brady this season, as the 4-time SB Champion should have the ultimate motovation in the wake of this rediculous "scandal." Will the NFL appeal the decision?
Brandon LaFell was placed on the reserve/PUP list, which means he can't return before week 8. Reggie Wayne was released. Could mean that Amendola will have a big role along with Edelman when he gets healthy. Even though the Patriots have regressed notably demographically (influx of sumos, hardly any White defensive players), Gronk, Edelman and Amendola could be Brady's three main receiving targets this season.
|AFC East Team||W||L||T||
||PF||PA||Net Pts||TD||Home||Road||Div||Pct||Conf||Pct||Non-Conf||Streak||Last 5|
|New England Patriots||8||0||0||1.000||276||143||133||31||5-0||3-0||3-0||1.000||6-0||1.000||2-0||8W||5-0|
The Patriots released safety Ross Ventrone. He has now been signed 14 times and released 12 times, just by the Patriots (he was recently with the Steelers as a WSTD and was cut by them also). Given that the Pats seem to be following the Packers model of purging White backups, this may be the last time Ventrone goes through this time-honored Caste System ritual with New England.