The NFL filed a motion Friday for an expedited hearing on its appeal of Tom Brady’s suspension ruling.
The league filed in federal court seeking to accelerate the legal process, and the NFLPA agreed to go along with the request. The NFL proposed the following dates, according to the motion: Opening briefs due on Oct. 26, the NFLPA’s responses on Dec. 7, and an NFL reply to those responses by Dec. 21. Oral arguments have been requested to be scheduled in January 2016 or as soon afterward as the court's schedule allows.
The case likely will not be heard until early 2016, but could theoretically take place in the postseason.
Brady was suspended the first four games of the regular season after the league’s investigation into the Deflategate scandal during last season’s AFC title game between the Patriots and Colts, deeming Brady had a role in New England's use of underinflated footballs. On Sept. 3, Judge Richard Berman overturned the NFL’s decision to suspend him after Brady appealed. The NFL appealed Berman’s decision to the U.S. Court of appeals.
"This appeal presents important and recurring issues associated with administration of the parties' CBA,” NFL attorney Daniel Nash said in court documents, according to ESPN. “Prompt resolution of those issues will enable the parties to address and resolve future proceedings more effectively and more expeditiously, and also ensure that the parties have the opportunity, in advance of the 2016 regular season, to know Mr. Brady's status and to plan accordingly.”
- Jeremy Woo