Patriots QB Tom Brady “intends to challenge his four-game suspension in federal court if NFL commissioner Roger Goodell doesn’t completely wipe out the punishment,” according to a report and sources cited by Ben Volin of the BOSTON GLOBE. Goodell is “expected to announce the outcome of the appeal before the Patriots begin training camp” on July 30, although “exactly when remains murky.”
Even though this is exactly what you’d want to hear if you have been drafting Brady in MFL10s, I don’t know that you can necessarily believe this report. Mostly that’s because this is exactly what you would say if you were just rattling your sabre and trying to get the league to vacate the suspension. If Brady’s ban is reduced to one game, and the primary reason stated for the one game ban is lack of cooperation with the investigation, is it really plausible that Brady will take to court over a one game ban? Of course, if the league believes the threat from Brady that could actually hurt. They might be more willing to reduce the ban to two games if they think that doing so will eliminate the threat of further litigation. If they believe they’re going to end up in federal court no matter what, their incentive could be to leave the ban at four games and let the chips fall where they may.
This saga has been fairly ridiculous from the beginning because even if it’s the Patriots, and even if we all assume that Bill Belichick would embezzle from his grandmother’s pension if it would help him win a preseason game, the punishment has never been consistent with the crime or the proof that the league had. This was a situation where the league should have just dropped some massive fines to make clubs think twice about doing similar in the future, and then they should have moved on without getting into intent. The investigation regime of the Goodell era has been a league-wide embarrassment. The next investigation/punishment they get right will be the first one. The NFL continuing its record of shitty investigations would be like if Tim Tebow thought he could still play QB… and nevermind. Now I see how it’s hard to move on from things you think you’re good at but that you really suck at.
For those still interested in MFL10s and whether they should draft Brady I think I’ll try to run some simulations to see how much that four game ban impacts things. I tried to look at this issue in the past but I think that by focusing on year long totals I probably missed a key piece of the analysis. Brady was such a volatile QB last year that he could still potentially be a difference maker in the MFL10 format even with fewer games available. Stay tuned.