Despite reports that the NFL was talking with the players union about a settlement, and a general assumption that Tom Brady’s suspension would at least be reduced for a few games, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell on Tuesday decided to uphold the full four-game suspension that the league originally handed down to the Patriots quarterback back in May.
Goodell’s decision centered on the fact that Brady destroyed his cell phone shortly before March 6, when he was to meet with NFL investigators. According to the NFL, Brady had sent 10,000 texts during the four months that the phone was in use, none of which could be retrieved.
Brady’s defense makes it sound like he goes through as many burner phones as a drug dealer.
Brady told Goodell it’s common practice for him to destroy phones and SIM cards when he’s done using them. Goodell didn’t buy that excuse.
— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) July 28, 2015
Of course, all this has gotten so far away from whether or not Brady actually took part in deflating footballs, which was the original infraction that was being investigated. The league will never know for sure whether Brady is guilty on that score, so the NFL is clinging to how cooperative he was in the investigation. Now, Brady faces the same four-game suspension that Greg Hardy has for domestic violence, and why? Because he didn’t turn over a phone that the NFL has no right to seize in the first place?
Presumably, the next step is Tom Brady taking the NFL to court to clear his name. UPDATE: According to Jim Trotter, Brady has already authorized the NFLPA to challenge the ruling in federal court. That means it will likely be several more months until we get closure in Ballghazi.