Lawyers for the union made the claim in papers filed with the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan. The court is hearing the NFL's appeal of a judge's ruling that nullified the league's four-game suspension of New England quarterback
The union said Goodell ignored the collectively bargained agreement between the league and the union when he upheld the suspension in July. "It is a sweeping grab for power that is contrary to collectively bargained penalties," union lawyers wrote.
They said the league has for decades provided all players with hundreds of pages defining league policies including conduct detrimental to the game, with some penalties collectively bargained. Under "equipment violations," the union said, the league provides notice in bold, italicized type that "First offenses will result in fines."
The union has asked the court to uphold the decision issued by Judge Richard Berman just before the season began. Berman said the league's discipline of Brady was based on "several significant legal deficiencies," including that it failed to adequately provide notice that a lengthy suspension could result from deflating footballs
The St. Louis Rams, next to last in offense in the NFL, fired offensive coordinator Frank Cignetti and designated Rob Boras, assistant head coach/offense and tight ends coach, to take over the coordinating duties. St. Louis (4-8) has lost five in a row and had a season-low for points in a 27-3 loss to Arizona on Sunday. Cignetti, 50, had been with
Fisher also said wide receiver Stedman Bailey was improving from two gunshot wounds to the head, but the coach wasn't sure if the 2013 third-round pick would be able to return to the NFL. Bailey was shot in Miami Gardens, Fla., on Nov. 24 and Fisher described the injuries as career-threatening, though he said he wasn't ruling out a return. Bailey came off the suspended list Monday from a four-game ban for violating the league's substance abuse policy. Fisher said the team probably would place him on the non-football injury list.
Manning to throw
Peyton Manning will suit up and throw outdoors Wednesday as he takes his first big step back from a torn plantar fascia in his left foot that has sidelined him since mid-November. It's unlikely, however, that he'll participate in practice, and it is unknown when Denver's 39-year-old quarterback might play in games again. "The thought is we go into kind of a modified small workout personally with him and see where we can be each and every day," Coach Gary Kubiak said.
Manning hasn't thrown outside since four of his passes were intercepted by the
Baltimore rookie tight end Nick Boyle was suspended four games by the NFL for violating league policy on performance-enhancing substances. The suspension probably means Boyle, who has 18 catches, is done for the season; the Ravens (4-8) have four games left and are unlikely to make the playoffs.