New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady will appeal against his four-game ban for the second time, the NFL Players’ Association (NFLPA) has confirmed.
Brady was scheduled to be banned for the first four games of 2015 after a lengthy investigation into the ‘Deflategate’ scandal during the play-offs the previous season.
That suspension, handed down by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, was vacated in September of last year, allowing Brady to play the entire season and lead the Patriots to the AFC Championship game, where they were beaten by eventual Super Bowl champions Denver.
Last month, more than 15 months after the Colts game took place, Brady’s ban was reactivated by circuit judges Barrington Parker Jr and Denny Chin, despite previous decisions made by the Supreme Court and other appeals courts.
Brady’s legal team is asking for an ‘en banc’ hearing, which means the appeal would be put before all of the judges on the Second Circuit – ESPN reports that the Supreme Court could again hear the case if their request is rejected.
NFLPA attorney Theodore Olson said on ABC News: “The facts here are so drastic and so apparent that the court should rehear it.
“Our two primary arguments are that the commissioner in the first place conducted an investigation and then the commissioner imposed discipline.
“Then the commissioner appointed himself as an appellate judge or an arbitrator and then decided something new in the appellate process, abandoning the grounds that were the original basis for the supposed discipline.
“That’s No. 1, and an appellate judge is supposed to look at the record and make a decision on the basis of what happened before. He departed from what happened before.
“Secondly, he ignored important provisions of the CBA [Collective Bargaining Agreement] about discipline that might be imposed for equipment violations. He departed from that completely and went off the track.”
Should Brady’s ban be upheld again, he stands to miss games against the Arizona Cardinals, Miami Dolphins, Houston Texans and Buffalo Bills, with Jimmy Garoppolo again standing by to start in his place.