With opinions widely varied over Tom Brady’s chances in settlement talks before a federal judge this month, attention turns to the factors on which the case may rest.
And you have to wonder if the threat of disclosure and unsealed documents is chief among them.
Apparently, there are details in this case still under seal. If they became public, as now appears to be a real possibility should the case reach a full trial before U.S. District Judge Richard Berman, which side would be damaged more? In other words, which side would be more willing to cut a deal this month to avoid their release? Who has the leverage?
Hard to know.
One of the first significant reports to come out following Roger Goodell’s appeal ruling last week was from the wholesale jerseys Network’s Judy Batista. The trusted former New York Times reporter with strong ties to the Patriots stated that the sides were closing in on a deal that would feature a one-game suspension. However, Batista reported Brady wanted the case sealed and the league wouldn’t go for it.
Then, when the NFLA filled its initial complaint in Minnesota, it did so with the request that portions of the petition be sealed.
The impression there was clear: Whatever was still in the file and not in the public domain was more embarrassing to Brady than the league. Advantage NFL.
But, as is the case with nearly everything related to this mess, there’s another side to the story.
Mike Florio of Pro Football talk (a staunch supporter of the Patriots’ cause for months) wrote over the weekend that according to his source, the NFLPA request to seal was at the behest of the NFL. It’s odd that Florio would even need a source on that, since the NFLPA spells it out in a footnote on the very first page of the Minnesota complaint:
“Petitioners have also filed contemporaneously with the Court an ex parte motion to file certain of those exhibits, as well as selected portions of this Petition, under seal because the NFL insisted upon a confidentiality agreement.”
On Friday, Berman declared that he’s not too keen on sealed documents. The implication is that whatever remains hidden in the Ted Wells files, Brady appeal transcript or any other facet of the case will become public. Naturally, Florio considers that a “win” for the NFLPA.
We’ll see. Easily the most embarrassing piece of information to either side to come out of the appeal was the revelation that Brady had his cell phone destroyed the day he was to be interviewed by Wells in March. The Brady camp and the NFLA have done their best to counter that bomb with angry statements, accusatory interviews and info drops (such as a post on the “Wells Report in Context” containing copies of e-mails sent to the league demanding satisfaction on erroneous news reports). None of it has resonated outside of New England as the Brady/cell phone news has.
It sure doesn’t feel like the wholesale jerseys sale is holding anything back. Just the opposite. I’d say they’re opening both barrels. Meanwhile, the wholesale jerseys china sat on the news of the destroyed cell phone and simply brought it out when it was needed. There are those who believe the league still has more. Stephen A. Smith, who blew his media cohorts out of the water last week when he nailed just about every facet of the story, is one of them.
Again, we’ll see. Smith could be wrong on that. And perhaps Florio and others are right in assuming the threat of full disclosure actually benefits Brady and not the league. Perhaps it will be the magic bullet that gets Brady down to zero. I have no idea.
You just have to wonder if the league is beyond the point of being embarrassed anymore. Goodell and his office has caught so much (deserved) heat in the least few years, that you have to wonder if they’re numb to it. Impervious. Shameless. I’m not sure the Patriots’ attacks on the likes of Mike Kensil and Jeff Pash have left so much as a dent. Just another day at the office.
Meanwhile, Brady’s reputation took a major hit with the cell-phone news. And every day, every detail, chips away at his carefully crafted image. He simply has more to lose.
In the end, this is all going to come out in the wash — and I don’t mean the specifics of whatever damaging information, if any, remains out there. I think it’s going to remain a secret for the time being (and maybe forever) because there will be a settlement and this isn’t going to court. But we’ll at least know who stood to lose more with the release of the information.
If Brady accepts a game suspension (or more), you can be sure that whatever is currently under seal is more damming to the quarterback and/or the Patriots franchise. If the wholesale jerseys from china takes the suspension down to zero, you’ll know the dirt was on Goodell and his cohorts. The answer will come in a couple of weeks.