Hello, old friend.
Ok, maybe not friend.
The 38 year old Tom Brady avoided suspension from the NFL in the well-known, drawn out Deflategate scandal, and was able to play the entire 2015 season, including the regular season opening win over the Pittsburgh Steelers.
The story has thankfully gone away. But that doesn’t mean the door has closed. And if recent events are any indication, Brady could see his suspension reinstated for 2016.
The NFL appealed Brady’s suspension reversal to a three-judge, federal appeal’s court and have been working through the case throughout the year.
Deadspin put together the tweets sent out by reporters covering the case and the general takeaway was, based on the judge’s statements, the league has a real chance to win. The article has all the info but here is one tweet to give you an idea of where things stand.
My inital take on the NFL appeal hearing: NFL's likely confident it will win 2 to 1. The judges focused on giving high deference to Goodell.
— Michael McCann (@McCannSportsLaw) March 3, 2016
As Deadspin points out, the appeals court, like any appeal, is not looking at the initial facts of the case. They are viewing the way the law was applied by the previous judge. A win for the NFL would not claim Brady was guilty but the reasoning behind Brady’s victory was faulty.
A final ruling is expected sometime in June. That would almost certainly be the last line of appeals and put the legal side of Deflategate to bed for good.
EDIT: The Steelers do play the Patriots in 2016. An exact date has not been scheduled.