Like or not, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell will be that one that hears the suspension appeal of New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady.
According to a Tuesday report by Mike Reiss of ESPN.com, Goodell has formally rejected the NFL Players Association’s recent motion to recuse himself as arbitrator of Brady’s hearing that is scheduled to take place June 23.
Goodell recently informed the NFLPA of his decision via a letter, according to Reiss and he wrote:.
“Because protecting the integrity of the game is the Commissioner’s most important responsibility, I decline to rewrite our Collective Bargaining Agreement to abrogate my authority and ‘discretion’ to hear ‘any appeal’ in a conduct detrimental proceeding.”
Brady is currently scheduled to miss the first four games of the 2015 season after he was suspended last month for his supposed role in the use of underinflated footballs in the AFC Championship Game in January.
There will be plenty of time to speculate about what the outcome of Brady’s hearing will ultimately be being as it is still several weeks away from happening and several believe that Brady’s attorney Jeffrey Kessler will even attempt to take the league to court should his clients punishment not be reduced by Goodell.
The Patriots will host the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 2015 regular-season opener and while Brady could ultimately have his suspension reduced by Goodell, it will be surprising if he’s allowed to play opening night at Gillette Stadium.