Tom Brady’s Four-Game Suspension Reinstated by Appeals Court, Vegas Reacts

Posted on: April 26, 2016, 07:42h. 

Last updated on: April 26, 2016, 07:52h.

Tom Brady suspension NFL Deflategate
The NFL can ban Tom Brady for the first four games of the regular season after a federal appeals court panel ruled 2-1 in favor of the league. (Image: Charles Krupa /Associated Press)

Tom Brady won’t be under center for the New England Patriots’ first four games of the NFL regular season after a federal appeals court ruled on Monday that the four-game suspension for his “Deflategate” involvement initially levied by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell was just.

The three-judge panel ruled 2-1 that Goodell “properly exercised his broad discretion under the collective bargaining agreement and that his procedural rulings were properly grounded . . . and did not deprive Brady of fundamental fairness. Accordingly, we reverse the judgment of the district court.”

The NFL alleges that Brady knowingly tampered with air pressure of footballs used during the AFC Championship game against the Indianapolis Colts in January of 2015. Circuit Judges Denny Chin and Barrington Parker ruled in favor of the NFL, while Chief Judge Robert Katzmann dissented for Brady.

The NFL said in a statement, “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. . . That authority has been recognized by many courts and has been expressly incorporated into every collective bargaining agreement between the NFL and NFL Players Association for the past 40 years.”

Vegas Downgrades Pats

Oddsmakers in Nevada quickly adjusted their lines to reflect the federal court’s ruling.

CG Technology, a sports wagering company whose partners include with The Venetian, Palazzo, Tropicana, Hard Rock, and Palms, moved New England from 6-1 to 8-1 to win the Super Bowl. Even with the slight demotion, the Pats are still the NFL favorites along with the Seattle Seahawks according to CG.

The Bovada thinks the Brady suspension could have a more impactful consequence. The online sportsbook has dropped the Patriots behind the Seahawks to win Super Bowl LI, with Seattle at +850 to New England at +900.

As for total regular season wins, Brady’s squad is also now predicted to win half a game less. The majority of books have the Patriots win line at 10 games, down from 10.5.

New England plays at Arizona to begin its season on September 11, then enjoys three home games against Miami, Houston, and Buffalo. The Patriots remain favored at the Gillette Stadium matchups, though their favoritism has decreased three to four points in each.

Goodell Mum

Though the ball is now squarely in Goodell’s field, the NFL commissioner hasn’t yet publicly revealed whether he’ll reinstate the ban on Brady. The league doesn’t necessarily have to revert to its previous ruling, and Goodell hasn’t commented on “Deflategate” since before Super Bowl 50.

Most analysts believe Goodell will indeed take advantage of the rights now afforded to him by the two appellate judges. Brady could once again appeal the decision, but it would need to be taken up by the full 2nd Circuit Court in a rare “en banc” hearing or be accepted by the US Supreme Court, both seemingly unlikely outcomes.

The most probable next step is that Brady accepts the punishment and the Patriots begin preparing backup quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo for the four biggest games of his career.