FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- As the sides did last week as well, the NFL Players Association (on behalf of Tom Brady) and the NFL have once again filed briefs to U.S. District Court stating their positions.
I've read through them, while following the tweets of those with a law background (e.g. Daniel Wallach) for more clarity.
Here are some of the key points:
1. The language seems stronger in this filing, with direct salvos fired at the NFL and commissioner Roger Goodell. For example, in the general summary: "The NFL’s seismic shifts are nothing short of breathtaking." It was also written that Goodell's 20-page opinion upholding Brady's four-game suspension was, "a propaganda piece written for public consumption ... to validate a multi-million dollar 'independent' investigation."
2. Lack of notice remains a principle argument because Brady was never made aware he was subject to the more general "NFL Policy on Integrity of the Game." The NFLPA argues that any equipment violation, as stated in applicable player policies, carries a maximum penalty of a fine (not suspension). In essence, a specific policy should trump a general provision, the NFLPA contends. The NFLPA also challenges that there can be a suspension under a standard of "general awareness."
3. The NFLPA highlights what it deems an unfair process led by an "evidently partial arbitrator" in Goodell. The NFLPA cites one example of the unfairness in how Brady didn't have access to investigative files that were relied upon in producing the Wells report to aid his case in arbitration.
1. The league argues that Goodell, as commissioner, has the authority to hand down such discipline as stated in the collective bargaining agreement. "Under the law, his judgment can not be disturbed"; or simply put, the case can't be tried again in court.
2. For the second week in a row, the NFL states that Brady was more than "generally aware" but actually "knew about, approved, consented to and provided inducements in support of tampering." It highlights Brady's obstruction of the league's investigation as "substantial" and "undisputed" and points out that Wells stated Brady was "at least generally aware."
3. The league states its position that the process was fair and that Goodell considered all arguments.