As expected, the NFLPA filed an appeal on behalf of Tom Brady over his four-game suspension for his role in the Patriots’ ball-deflation schemes.

The statement:

The NFLPA has filed an appeal of the four-game suspension of Tom Brady handed down by Troy Vincent.

Given the NFL’s history of inconsistency and arbitrary decisions in disciplinary matters, it is only fair that a neutral arbitrator hear this appeal.

If Ted Wells and the NFL believe, as their public comments stated, that the evidence in their report is “direct” and “inculpatory,” then they should be confident enough to present their case before someone who is truly independent.

The union is clearly hoping to have the appeal heard by someone who isn’t Roger Goodell, like when Saints players implicated in Bountygate had their punishments reduced or overturned by former commissioner Paul Tagliabue. Obviously, it’s a fucked-up system where the guy handing down the penalties is the same one who gets to rule on appeals (Troy Vincent is just a figurehead here), but Goodell clearly intended to make a statement with the Patriots’ punishment and probably wouldn’t be inclined to cut Brady any slack.

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Brady’s appeal must be heard within 10 days. Give him one or two games and let’s move on with our lives.