Tom Brady’s Deflategate appeal lasts 10 hours; decision rests with NFL

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady arrives for his appeal hearing at NFL headquarters in New York on Tuesday.

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady arrives for his appeal hearing at NFL headquarters in New York on Tuesday.

(Mark Lennihan / Associated Press)

Once again, the waiting game begins for New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady.

After appealing his four-game suspension for his alleged involvement in the Patriots’ Deflategate scandal during a 10-hour hearing at NFL headquarters in New York on Tuesday, Brady must wait to find out whether the NFL will change its decision.

No details were made available after the hearing, but Brady’s attorney, Jeffrey Kessler, expressed confidence in the four-time Super Bowl champion’s defense, saying “I think we put in a very compelling case.”

The league hasn’t said when NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell will announce his decision. Goodell has three options: He could keep Brady’s suspension at four games, reduce it or get rid of it.


Last month, an NFL-commissioned investigation by attorney Ted Wells concluded it was “more probable than not” that Brady was “generally aware” of team attendants deflating footballs prior to the AFC Championship game against the Indianapolis Colts on Jan. 18.

In addition to Brady’s suspension, the NFL fined the Patriots $1 million and took away a pair of future draft picks from the team.

Brady’s appeal hinges on two key elements: whether Troy Vincent, NFL Executive Vice President of Football Operations, issued Brady’s suspension, and if science supports findings made about deflated footballs in Wells’ report. Brady’s defense also maintains he received a harsher penalty than other players for similar violations in the past.

The NFL said Goodell authorized the penalties that were imposed by Vincent. The NFL Players’ Assn. contends Vincent doesn’t have the power to issue punishments based on the collective bargaining agreement.

Goodell dismissed the union’s claim.

“I did not delegate my disciplinary authority to Mr. Vincent; I concurred in his recommendation and authorized him to communicate to Mr. Brady the discipline imposed under my authority as Commissioner,” Goodell said in his letter to the Players’ Assn. on June 2. “The identity of the person who signed the disciplinary letter is irrelevant.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.