Though Roger Goodell claimed this week that there is no timetable for making his decision on Tom Brady’s appeal of his Deflategate suspension, with teams starting to report to training camp, the ruling should presumably be coming within the next week or so. To some extent, it’s understandable that Roger Goodell is dragging his feet, as he’s bound to face grief no matter his decision.
If Goodell upholds the four-game suspension, the NFL will take tremendous public criticism for having Brady’s suspension be the same as the one Greg Hardy received for domestic violence. If Goodell reduces the suspension but does not lift it entirely, Brady and the players union will likely challenge the suspension in court, which will only further protract what has been a costly and embarrassing mess for the league. If Goodell negates Brady’s suspension, according to reports, the commissioner will upset a small band of influential owners who want Brady’s suspension to remain in place.
In many ways, it’s a no-win situation for Roger Goodell and he has no one to blame but himself. In typical Goodell fashion, if he’s going to make a mess of things he wants to do it on his own terms. ESPN’s Dan Graziano is reporting that the NFLPA has reached out to the commissioner with settlement talks in the appeal case and have thus far fell on deaf ears.
There’s no word on what the exact terms of the settlement have been, though it hardly matters. For better and most likely worse, Goodell is determined to have this be his mess. At least his until the courts are forced to once again clean it up.