Deflategate Decision May Come Soon in Federal Court, but That Doesn’t Mean End of It

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady gestures during an event at Salem State University in Salem, Mass., Thursday, May 7, 2015. An NFL investigation has found that New England Patriots employees likely deflated footballs and that quarterback Tom Brady was "at least generally aware" of the rules violations. The 243-page report released Wednesday, May 6, 2015, said league investigators found no evidence that coach Bill Belichick and team management knew of the practice. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa, Pool)
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady leaves federal court Wednesday, Aug. 12, 2015, in New York. Brady left the courthouse after a full day of talks with a federal judge in his dispute with the NFL over a four-game suspension. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady leaves federal court Wednesday, Aug. 12, 2015, in New York. Brady left the courthouse after a full day of talks with a federal judge in his dispute with the NFL over a four-game suspension. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

Rachel Axon, USA Today

 
NEW YORK (USA Today) — A federal judge is set to rule on Tom Brady’s case against the NFL, but those weary of Deflategate would be wise to find patience. In all likelihood, litigation between the NFL Players Association and league is far from over.

Barring a last-minute settlement or delay by the court, Judge Richard M. Berman will either confirm or vacate the four-game suspension NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell upheld following Brady’s arbitration. That decision could come even as early as Monday, when all parties will be present in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. Berman has said he will try to rule by Sept. 4, a date agreed upon by the union and the league that would allow the Patriots to adjust for Brady’s availability for the Sept. 10 season opener.

An appeal is expected regardless which side prevails.

“The question will be how long the appeal takes,” says Gabe Feldman, director of the sports law program at Tulane and legal analyst for NFL Network, “and the process in front of Judge Berman has been remarkably fast but the wheels of appellate justice turn very slowly.”

 

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