Patriots quarterback Tom Brady won his appeal in federal court, nullifying his four-game suspension and bringing an end to the Deflategate saga.
U.S. District Court Judge Richard Berman said the NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and the investigators fumbled their investigation into deflated footballs used in the AFC Championship Game against the Indianapolis Colts.
Brady was facing a hefty fine and a four-game suspension, but will lead the defending Super Bowl champions against the Pittsburg Steelersin the season opener. Brady is also expected to be in uniform tonight in Foxboro as the Patriots play their final exhibition game against the New York Giants.
Berman outlined his ruling in a 40-page document that was released Wednesday (via WEEI.com).
In the document, Berman implies that the NFL did not properly inform Brady of the punishment he would face if he used underinflated footballs and that it was unclear, from the start, of what – exactly – Brady was even accused of. Another hangup was that Brady’s camp was not allowed to question NFL executive and counsel Jeff Pash at the June 23 appeal hearing. Pash edited the report released by “independent investigator” Ted Wells and a “lack of independence” issue was raised.