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Tom Brady and the NFLPA are prepared to take his appeal to a federal court if his appeal to the NFL results in any suspension due to DeflateGate, according to Ryan Smith of ABC News.
The New England Patriots quarterback was given a four-game suspension in May after an independent investigation done by the NFL concluded that it was “more probable than not” that Brady was aware of a plan to slightly deflate game balls before the AFC Championship against the Indianapolis Colts. Brady previously spoke in an interviews about his preference of slightly deflated balls to throw.
Brady’s appeal to the NFL ended in June, but the league’s decision still hasn’t been announced. Overseeing as arbitrator, despite requests from the NFLPA of a recusal, was Roger Goodell, which wouldn’t appear to be a favorable situation for Brady at face value.
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Playing under the franchise tag would mean a one-year deal worth just over $12.8 million for Bryant, but he would forfeit $752,000 per regular season game missed. He can, however, miss all of training camp without being fined, which is his plan if a deal isn’t reached.
Last month, Bryant’s agent Tom Condon wouldn’t comment on a rumor that his client was considering sitting out the regular season opener against the New York Giants if a deal isn’t reached.
Denver Broncos wide receiver Demaryius Thomas is in a similar situation after receiving the franchise tag earlier in the offseason. The NFLPA is currently investigating whether the Broncos and Cowboys contacted each other to discuss the comparable contract situations for the two receivers, which is prohibited as a form of collusion.
Bryant’s touchdown numbers have increased in each of his five seasons in the NFL and he led the league in the category in 2014 with 16 touchdown grabs. He has 273 receptions for 3,935 yards and 41 touchdowns in the last three seasons.