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NFLPA “prepared to take the next step” if Tom Brady loses appeal

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If NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell doesn’t allow Patriots quarterback Tom Brady to play in Week One, the players’ union will try to take that decision out of Goodell’s hands.

That’s the word from NFLPA President Eric Winston, who said on today’s PFT Live that if Goodell does not overturn Brady’s suspension on appeal, the NFLPA is ready to keep fighting.

“It’s not even worth trying to guess what’s going on because it doesn’t seem like all the time that they know what’s going on,” Winston said. “I hope they do the right thing, I hope they exonerate Tom and overturn his suspension, but if they don’t we’re prepared to take the next step, whatever that next step might be. But we can’t take that next step and we can’t go forward until a decision is made. Why it takes over a month, and why it took six months to get to that point before that, and the constant feet-dragging on not just Tom’s issue but all the issues is, to me, just seems a bit ridiculous and doesn’t serve the players very well. But that’s where we’re at now and we’re just going to have to continue to keep advocating for our players.”

Winston didn’t specify what that “next step” might be, but it would seem to mean the union and Brady would go to court to try to have his suspension overturned.

A court fight, of course, would take time, and the whole Deflategate mess has already taken a lot of time. Goodell continues to say he doesn’t have a timeline to make his decision, but the Patriots, Brady and the NFLPA all wish Goodell would make up his mind already, so that they can determine what their next step should be.