The NFLPA and NFL met for the second time in Judge Richard Berman's court Wednesday morning, and according to reporters on scene, it was another bad day for the NFL and their lawyers. Many feel that before too long, Tom Brady could be a free man, while the NFL will have to admit some serious fault.
A week after Judge Berman blasted the league by pointing out the major flaws in their case from top-to-bottom, he again grilled NFL attorney Daniel Nash for the NFL's process and handling of Brady's suspension, calling into question how the league settled on four-games as a punishment and rejecting the idea that tampering with a football should carry the same suspension as PEDs or steroids:
Berman: "There is a bit of a quantum leap from the finding of Mr. Wells to the finding of Mr. Goodell." (from general awareness to scheme)— Stephen Brown (@PPVSRB) August 19, 2015
Berman to Nash: "Where else does Mr. Wells say Mr. Brady was generally aware (of deflation) in that game?"— Stephen Brown (@PPVSRB) August 19, 2015
Berman: "I don't see how four games (for deflation, non cooperation) is comparable to using steroids and a masking agent."— Stephen Brown (@PPVSRB) August 19, 2015
Berman: "The next time someone tampers with a ball but cooperates, what suspension would he get?"— Stephen Brown (@PPVSRB) August 19, 2015
Judge Berman also keyed in on the fact that the league didn't allow NFL general counsel Jeff Pash to testify in the appeal hearing, even though he edited the Wells Report before it was released, a point that ESPN Boston's Mike Reiss believes could be what wins the case for Brady in the end:
Berman: The NFL "cannot just conclude they cannot have a witness bc testimony would be cumulative."— Stephen Brown (@PPVSRB) August 19, 2015
The Boston Globe's Ben Volin gave his two cents after today's hearing, and his opinion is shared by plenty of others that the NFL is potentially dealing with the fact that they will come out on the losing end if they continue to fight Brady and the NFLPA:
Not only did Berman grill the NFL, but he made observations on his own that boosted the credibility of NFLPA argument. Not good for NFL— Ben Volin (@BenVolin) August 19, 2015
Judge Berman concluded the hearing by saying that if a settlement isn't reached out of court between the two sides, he will rule on the case on September 4. He also added that are enough "strengths and weaknesses" on both sides to see a settlement agreed to before a ruling would have to be made, calling a settlement a "rational and logical outcome" to this rather irrational and illogical process.
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