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Tom Brady’s suspension nullified; Patriots QB can start Week 1

September 3, 2015

Tom Brady And Roger Goodell Fail To Reach Settlement Over 4-Game SuspensionTom Brady And Roger Goodell Fail To Reach Settlement Over 4-Game Suspension
Spencer Platt Getty Images

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady‘s four-game suspension was nullified by federal judge Richard Berman in a ruling announced Thursday. The Associated Press first reported the news.

The decision may not mark the end to the legal battle between Brady and the NFL. The league can appeal the decision, which could result in the lawsuit continuing for several more months.

On May 11, Brady was suspended four games after an NFL-contracted report by attorney Ted Wells asserted “it is more probable than not that New England Patriots personnel participated in violations of the Playing Rules and were involved in a deliberate effort to circumvent the rules” and Brady was “generally aware” of the alleged scheme to deflate footballs used in the AFC championship game. Brady’s agent said at the time that the Wells report has “significant and tragic flaws,” and the quarterback has denied wrongdoing.

The NFL also punished the Patriots franchise by imposing a $1 million fine and the loss of a 2016 first-round pick and 2017 fourth-round pick. Patriots owner Robert Kraft decided not to fight the sanctions.

Commissioner Roger Goodell upheld Brady’s suspension on July 28. Brady and the NFL each filed lawsuits in federal court, the league seeking to uphold Goodell’s decision and Brady seeking to overturn it. Judge Berman pushed the two sides to consider a settlement, but they failed to do so by a hearing on Monday. Reports said the NFL wanted Brady to admit guilt for his role in Deflategate, but Brady refused. A report from The New York Daily News on Monday said the leaguenever made Brady a formal settlement offer.

The Patriots will open the season on Sept. 10 against the Pittsburgh Steelers.