U.S. District Court Judge Richard Berman apparently is calling in reinforcements.
New York Giants owner John Mara is a surprise attendee at the latest hearing for Tom Brady’s four-game suspension appeal Monday in New York. NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport reported that Mara is appearing at the request of Berman as the deadline for the judge to rule approaches.
ProFootballTalk gave a very good reason for the decision, too. When the NFL filed the case in Berman’s court, the National Football League Management Council was listed as the plaintiff. Mara, not NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, is the chairman of that council, so that could help explain the reasoning.
Sports Illustrated legal analyst Michael McCann also has a theory.
This could be seen as a potentially positive development for the Brady camp. Berman recently asked to have Mara involved in the proceedings, but the NFL’s lawyers reportedly shot down that request, according a report from ESPN’s Chris Mortensen. All along, the NFL has done everything possible to ensure it was clear the case falls under Goodell’s jurisdiction. Involving Mara conceivably could put pressure on the league to accelerate the process and resolve the case before the NFL season begins next week.
The hearing is formally scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. ET.
Thumbnail photo via Tommy Gilligan/USA TODAY Sports Images