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Berman bombards NFL lawyer with questions about Brady's ban

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Berman bombards NFL lawyer with questions about Brady's ban

NEW YORK-- If it's Wednesday, it must be time for Judge Richard Berman to use Daniel Nash as his personal pinata.

At today's oral arguments in Tom Brady's appeal of his four-game suspension by commissioner Roger Goodell, Berman battered the NFL Management Council attorney with questions related to the league's decision to suspend Brady for four games. Primary in Berman's cross-hairs was the suspension itself, and Goodell equating it to steroid use.

"I have a little trouble with [Goodell deciding on four games]," said Berman.

In explaining Brady's four-game ban, Goodell compared the ball deflation and failure to cooperate to PED use and the use of a masking agent.

"How are deflating footballs and not cooperating with the commissioner legally comparable to STEROID USE and a masking agent?" asked Berman.

Three different times, Berman derisively asked how ball deflation equates to STEROID USE.

"It's clearly a fair question to pose," said Berman. "[Goodell's] explanation of steroid use only raises more questions than it answers."

Berman also interrogated Nash on which portion of the suspension was for ball deflation and which was for failure to cooperate.

"It isn't broken down that way," said Nash, adding: "There are people in the NFL who believe it should be four games for ball deflation and four for not cooperating."

Berman then asked, "So the next time someone tampers with a ball but cooperates, what would he get?"

Nash, after a roundabout explanation, finally settled on: "The amount of discipline would be based on the sound judgment of the commissioner."

McCourty twins appear committed to 2020 season despite COVID-19 concerns

McCourty twins appear committed to 2020 season despite COVID-19 concerns

New England Patriots teammates and twin brothers Devin and Jason McCourty have serious concerns about the 2020 NFL season.

But with the NFL opt-out deadline looming, it appears they're still on board with playing football.

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The McCourty twins suggested as much while responding to NBC10 Boston's Raul Martinez, who shared their official Patriots headshots on Twitter.

Devin is gearing up for his 11th NFL season while Jason is entering his 12th, and both Patriots defensive backs were spotted Monday at the team's training camp session outside Gillette Stadium.

Eight Patriots players already have opted out of the 2020 season, including defensive leaders Dont'a Hightower and Patrick Chung. If Devin or Jason join them, they'll have to do so before Thursday at 4 p.m. ET, the NFL's new deadline for players to back out of the season.

Devin called the league moving up its deadline "an absolute joke" on Sunday, calling out the NFL for what he views as a reactionary measure after a wave of players opted out last week due to legitimate concerns about playing football amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Monday will be our first day in the building, so to try to act like guys are trying to make a decision about something other than virtual meetings is a joke," McCourty said.

Both Devin and Jason also have criticized the NFL for being slow to implement proper safety protocols and failing to make players feel safe about returning to team facilities. Devin has a wife and two children while Jason and his wife have three kids, so their concern about safety is understandable.

McCourty also suggested Sunday he won't be phased by the NFL's hard-and-fast deadline and reserves the right to opt out later in the summer or fall if things change.

As it stands now, though, it doesn't sound like he or his brother will be opting out before Thursday's 4 p.m. ET deadline.

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NFL opt outs: Complete list of players who won't play in 2020 season

NFL opt outs: Complete list of players who won't play in 2020 season

NFL training camps officially began Tuesday, but there were some notable absences.

Kansas City Chiefs offensive lineman Laurent Duvernay-Tardif became the first NFL player to opt out of the 2020 season last Friday, citing health concerns related to the coronavirus pandemic.

Since then, multiple players have followed suit, continuing a trend across all major North American professional sports of players declining to participate in their seasons as COVID-19 persists in the United States.

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The Patriots especially have felt the impact of this trend: Six New England players -- including star linebacker Dont'a Hightower -- already have opted out, the most of any NFL team.

Below is a running list of the players who have opted out of the 2020 NFL season, according to reports or team/player confirmations. The list is sorted alphabetically after the Patriots, with the date of the players' opt-outs in parentheses.

New England Patriots

RB Brandon Bolden (July 28)
OT Marcus Cannon (July 28)
S Patrick Chung (July 28)
LB Dont'a Hightower (July 28)
WR Marqise Lee (August 1)
OG Najee Toran (July 27)
FB Danny Vitale (July 27)
TE Matt LaCosse (August 2)

Baltimore Ravens

OT Andre Smith (July 28)
WR/KR De'Anthony Thomas (July 27)

Buffalo Bills

CB E.J. Gaines (August 2)
DT Star Lotulelei (July 28)

Carolina Panthers

LB Jordan Mack (July 28)
LB Christian Miller (August 3)

Chicago Bears

DT Eddie Goldman (July 28)
S Jordan Lucas (August 3)

Cincinnati Bengals

OT Isaiah Prince (July 31)
DT Josh Tupou (July 31)

Cleveland Browns

DT Andrew Billings (August 4)
OL Drake Dorbeck (July 29)
OL Drew Forbes (July 29)

Dallas Cowboys

CB Maurice Canady (July 27)
WR Stephen Guidry (July 28)
FB Jamize Olawale (Aug. 2)

Denver Broncos

OT JaWuan James (Aug. 3)
DT Kyle Peko (July 28)

Detroit Lions

DT John Atkins (July 29)
WR Geronimo Allison (Aug. 2)

Green Bay Packers

WR Devin Funchess (July 28)

Houston Texans

DT Eddie Vanderdoes (July 28)

Jacksonville Jaguars

EDGE Larentee McCray (August 1)
DL Al Woods (July 31)

Kansas City Chiefs

OG Laurent Duvernay-Tardif (July 24)
RB Damien Williams (July 29)

Las Vegas Raiders

CB D.J. Killings (August 3)
DE Jeremiah Valoaga (August 3)

Los Angeles Rams

OT Chandler Brewer (July 31)

Minnesota Vikings

NT Michael Pierce (July 28)

New Orleans Saints

TE Jason Vander Laan (July 28)
TE Cole Wick (July 28)

New York Giants

WR Da'Mari Scott (August 2)
LT Nate Solder (July 29)

New York Jets

OL Leo Koloamatangi (July 28)
LB CJ Mosley (August 1)

Philadelphia Eagles

WR Marquise Goodwin (July 28)

Seattle Seahawks

OG Chance Warmack (July 27)

Tennessee Titans

OL Anthony McKinney (July 28)

Washington Football Team

DT Caleb Brantley (July 27)
LB Josh Harvey-Clemons (August 3)

Free Agents

G Larry Warford (July 28)