Tom Brady’s suspension appeal might never make it to court, according to Sports Illustrated legal expert Michael McCann.
McCann said on WEEI’s “Dennis & Callahan” that he believes the New England Patriots quarterback has more leverage going into settlement talks after the release of his appeal transcript. He also said Brady shouldn’t settle for a one-game suspension.
“I think there’s a good chance it will get settled in a couple of weeks,” McCann said Wednesday morning. “I don’t think it’s going to go to a (judge’s) decision. I think right now they’re probably negotiating between a fine and one game, and there’s probably an argument over that. Before, I thought maybe Brady would maybe agree to a two-game suspension, but after reading this transcript I’m of the belief that Brady should hold out until he gets it down to a fine.”
McCann doesn’t understand why Brady is even being punished after reading the appeal transcript.
“I don’t understand why he’s being suspended, at the end of the day,” McCann said. “And I say that because, let’s look at the testimony. He categorically denied any wrongdoing. So from that you have the fact that the standard is preponderance of evidence more likely than not, you have his denial. Then you have the absence of evidence contradicting him. Some people said, ‘Oh, he was a little evasive.’ Well, if you ask someone the same question 12 times they’re going to come up with slightly different answers and you might contend that they’re somehow being evasive because their answers aren’t the same each time. Well, that’s human nature, our answers are never the same each time.
“I look at this testimony and I say for all the failing the NFL has, the bizarre process they use, at the end of the day where is the evidence Tom Brady participated in a ball-deflation scheme? I don’t see it. Then you’re left with, OK, was he cooperative? Well, Ted Wells found him sufficiently cooperative. You have Ted Wells saying he is. Why would that would even warrant a suspension if he isn’t as cooperative as he should have been? This doesn’t add up to me.”
It also helps Brady’s case that commissioner Roger Goodell was less than forthcoming in his appeal decision letter, mischaracterizing what the quarterback had said about his conversations with Patriots staffer John Jastremski. Brady has categorically denied any involvement in the Deflategate scandal since Day 1, and there is a lack of hard evidence pinning the quarterback to the allegations.
It’s not exactly helping the NFL that there’s a chance the deflation could have been caused by cold weather and leaky footballs. Exponent, the consulting firm used by Ted Wells to prove the deflation couldn’t be proven by science, was picked apart by Ted Snyder, Dean of the Yale School of Management, in Brady’s appeal.
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