During the 2014-2015 NFL post-season, New England Patriot quarterback Tom Brady was charged with deflating footballs in order to make them easier to throw and catch. This scandal was dubbed “Deflategate.”
Brady fought his employer, the NFL, over the Deflategate charges. Had he not fought the charges in 2015, he would have faced a four game suspension for the 2015-2016 season (resulting in a loss of over two million dollars). After 18-months of battling the suspension (including an attempt for an en banc appeal), Tom Brady will have to face his four-game suspension at the beginning of the 2016-2017 season.
It’s no surprise that Brady fought the charges for so long. Employee win rates in arbitration aren’t bad. According to a case outcomes and processes study by Cornell University, within the past twenty years employee win rates in employment arbitration cases were as high as 75 percent. More recently, they have leveled out to a more modest 40-45 percent. That said, Brady still felt confident that fighting his charges was in his best interest.
And perhaps it was.
According to Forbes, while Deflategate dragged on, Brady was able to renegotiate his contract with the Patriots. Instead of losing $2.12 million dollars in 2015, he’ll be losing $235,294 in 2016.
It’s important to note that both of those figures are minimal to Brady (his net worth is roughly $172 million). Brady’s attempt at an appeal was more than just a ploy to garner time to reconstruct his contract. He doesn’t have to worry about money or employment. He’s arguably the best quarterback of all time, dead or alive. But, his reputation as a sportsman still holds value, so his appeal attempt was likely less about money and more about defending his own ethics and the claim that he should not be considered a cheater. Given all of the Patriots’ scandals though, this is a tough claim to defend.
In the end, the four-week suspension is sad news for Patriots’ fans, but the tears should end there. Brady will still play in the 2016-2017 season, and beyond that, it’s a little hard to feel sorry for Tom Brady anyway. He’s a gorgeous man, has a gorgeous wife, gorgeous kids and a gorgeous net worth of well over $100 million. So, no use in tearing up over a man who makes millions of dollars throwing around a little ball full of air—or partially full of air in his case. Thankfully, for anyone who watches sports, deflategate is over.