If things went as well in his appeal hearing as is being reported, Tom Brady was likely all smiles afterward.
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By Steve DelVecchio
Tom Brady met with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and league officials on Tuesday to appeal his four-game suspension, and the New England Patriots quarterback was reportedly very convincing.
According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Brady was his own “greatest ally” and appeared extremely genuine. The three-time Super Bowl MVP reportedly addressed every issue raised by the Ted Wells report and gave “an A+ performance” overall.
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Time will tell if that means anything.
As Ben Volin of the Boston Globe notes, Goodell said in May that he would welcome any new information that would help the league get the punishment right.
“If there is new information or there’s information in helping us get this right, I want to hear directly from Tom on that,” Goodell said.
If Brady did, in fact, fully cooperate, you would have to assume that means he either turned over his cell phone communications or provided enough information to satisfy suspicions — those of Schefter’s source, at least.
A few weeks ago, we speculated that Brady’s best chance to have the suspension overturned would be to allow access to his cell phone records. The NFL made it clear that the punishment levied against him was more about his lack of cooperation than the alleged violation itself.
I have also said all along that I believe Patriots owner Robert Kraft cut some sort of deal with Goodell when he agreed to accept the team’s punishment for Deflategate. The only real way the NFL could justify overturning Brady’s suspension is if they were able to say publicly that Brady turned over his cell phone and there was nothing incriminating on it.
Brady is seeking a complete exoneration and does not want the suspension simply reduced. A report from Tuesday (read it here) explained why he has a legitimate chance to play Week 1 even if the suspension isn’t overturned. Assuming Brady’s performance during the appeal was as stellar as they say, No. 12 could be on his way to manufacturing the best comeback win of his Hall of Fame career.