“In talking to NFL officials, you can expect that Tom Brady will be suspended this week. That is the most likely outcome that he is facing,” Cole said Monday. “Now the question is: How long is that suspension going to be? Are they going to make this four or six games, or, ultimately, are they going to make it two? My sources indicate to me that Roger Goodell intends to make this a very heavy suspension. That could be 4-6 games … perhaps as long as eight games.”
Nothing really new here. We already understood that Brady’s potential suspension would range between two and eight games.
However, Cole’s next point is intriguing.
“But ultimately, after appeal and after negotiations with Tom Brady and the New England Patriots, expect that this will come in at somewhere around 2-3 games,” he said.
Why throw out the larger suspension when the final suspension itself will be much lower? That would be Goodell’s way of looking tough while not wanting one of the highest-profile players in the NFL sitting out for an extended time. It would also likely avoid a drawn-out legal battle between the league and the NFL Players Association.