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Steve Davis: Goodell Loses Either Way In Brady Appeal

When it comes to the Tom Brady appeal, Roger Goodell has himself in quite a predicament.

Whether you think Brady did something wrong or not is only part of the issue. Let's say he did. The NFL's four game suspension has no justifiable precedent. In fact, according to the understood NFL rules, a violation of tampering with the football leads to a $25,000 fine for the team. There is no mention of disciplining the player.

So how does $25,000 lead to a four game suspension? If the NFL were to say it's because he didn't cooperate, again what is the precedent for four games? The NFL just makes it up as they go along, as they did with Ray Rice.

Now, assuming Brady did not participate in doctoring the footballs or maybe even that the Patriots didn't doctor them (and some analysis suggests the balls weren't doctored and the NFL's investigation is flawed) then the penalty shouldn't be four games.

The dilemma for Goodell is if he reduces Brady's penalty, he is undermining himself and his people. If he doesn't lessen the sanctions, then he is likely to come off as unfair and stubborn.

Either way, Goodell loses.


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