A ruling is expected soon for Tom Brady’s appeal of a four-game suspension he received for his involvement in DeflateGate.
The NFL commissioned a report to look into allegations that the New England Patriots played with slightly deflated balls on offense against the Indianapolis Colts in a 45-7 victory in the AFC Championship. The Wells Report, released in May, found that it was “more probable than not” that Brady knew of the plan to illegally deflate the balls after they were inspected by referees and a four-game suspension was subsequently handed down.
Brady received the ban, coupled with the loss of draft picks and money for the New England Patriots, and appealed the decision in June. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell named himself arbitrator for the case, and while the NFLPA asked him to step down and name a third-party to oversee Brady’s appeal, Goodell refused to recuse himself.
Now, nearly a month after Brady first made his appeal, Goodell is expected to announce his decision, although there’s a strong chance that the DeflateGate saga hasn’t yet reached its conclusion.
Most important position battle: Tight end — Mychal Rivera had the second-most receptions on the team in 2014, but the position has been completely overhauled. In addition to adding Walford in the draft, the Raiders signed Lee Smith in free agency. Smith isn’t a big receiving threat, but he’s a strong blocker who could cut into Rivera’s snaps. It’s Walford who could end up being the complete tight end that absorbs the most snaps, though, if he reaches his potential sooner rather than later.
Steven Daniels, MLB (senior): A run-stopping physical linebacker, Daniels may lack the speed NFL teams are looking for at LB. He’s large for a linebacker in terms of weight (257 pounds), but a year anchoring the linebacking corps may raise the eyes of some NFL scouts.