Tom Brady was all smiles Tuesday morning when he arrived at NFL headquarters in New York for his long-awaited appeal hearing for the four-game suspension he received for his involvement in the Deflategate scandal.
Flanked by NFL Players Assn. attorney Heather McPhee, the New England Patriots quarterback entered the Park Avenue building through a side door at around 9 a.m., about 30 minutes before the scheduled hearing overseen by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, but was still met by a throng of photographers and even a couple of autograph seekers.
Patriots fans were on hand to show support for the superstar player who has led their team to four Super Bowl victories in six appearances.
The crowd grows... pic.twitter.com/jvB0DRciR3— Daniel Popper (@danielrpopper) June 23, 2015
Fans are out in support of Tom Brady, who will appeal his suspension today at the NFL headquarters. pic.twitter.com/jM3iAVF6XA— Daniel Popper (@danielrpopper) June 23, 2015
In stark contrast to the carnival-like atmosphere outside, there's some serious business going on inside, with Ted Wells -- the independent investigator whose report Brady's suspension was based upon -- among those expected to appear.
NFLPA wanted Patriots owner Robert Kraft to testify over the phone but he was unable to so he offered a written statement of support for Brady, according to NFL Media's Ian Rapoport.
According to the terms laid out in a June 15 memo from NFL attorney Greg Levy, Brady's defense team was to be given four hours to present its case, with the possibility of a one-hour extension granted by Goodell. The management council was to receive up to three hours to present its side.
"Absent the showing of extraordinary need, the Commissioner does not expect to continue the hearing for a second day," the memo read.
NFL attorney Greg Levy spelled out in this memo the time limits placed on Brady defense team: pic.twitter.com/Nu1LWeM1qQ— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) June 23, 2015
Of course, Brady's fate is ultimately in the hands of Goodell ... that is, unless Brady is unhappy with the result and decides to take the matter to federal court.
Stay tuned ...
11:37 a.m.: This post was updated with information about Patriots owner Robert Kraft.
12:22 p.m.This post was updated with information from NFL attorney Greg Levy's memo.
This post was originally published at 7:15 a.m. Copyright © 2016, Los Angeles Times