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Report: Goodell “very unlikely” to recuse himself from hearing Brady appeal


On Friday, the NFLPA released the full letter they sent to the NFL informing them that Patriots quarterback Tom Brady will be appealing the four-game suspension he received this week as a result of the investigation into the loss of air pressure from footballs used by the Patriots during the AFC Championship game.

In that letter, the NFLPA said they would be calling upon NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to testify in the hearing which means they are also calling for him to recuse himself from hearing the appeal. If Goodell does not recuse himself, the union promised to “pursue all available relief to obtain an arbitrator who is not evidently partial.”

It looks like they will need to pursue those possibilities. Ed Werder of ESPN reports that it is “very unlikely” that Goodell removes himself as the arbitrator in the appeal. That will put him in the position to weigh the arguments of Brady and the NFLPA against the decision to follow the conclusions reached by Ted Wells in the lengthy and expensive investigation commissioned by the league.

As Mike Florio pointed out on Friday, any decision to disregard Wells’s work “will reflect poorly on the person who hired Wells.” That’s Goodell and that’s the reason why the NFLPA wants to have a neutral arbitrator hearing the appeal.