It’s almost August, and we’re still waiting to hear the result of Tom Brady’s appeal. Will his suspension be four games? Two games? No games?
But just about everyone is getting impatient.
“Look, the league wants to get this resolved in one fell swoop,” CBSSports.com NFL insider Jason La Canfora said on CBS Sports Radio’s After Hours with Amy Lawrence. “The league ending here is to not have arguably its greatest player suing them for potentially the duration of the Super Bowl 50 season. They don’t want that to be the backdrop. How bad would it be if Brady is going for back-to-back Super Bowl wins? What if he’s in that game and he’s going to set history with another ring, and he still has another lawsuit against the league and there’s still haggling over whether or not he’s going to have a future suspension? It’s not a good look. And for a league that’s taken its fair share of this over the last 18-24 months, they’d love to avoid that.”
The league is reportedly putting out feelers to the Brady camp to see what type of punishment he could live with sans lawsuit. In the end, though, the NFL has the power.
“I don’t anticipate Tom Brady having a whole lot of wiggle room here,” La Canfora said. “I expect him to be prepared to sue unless the league were to basically fall on its sword, and they’re reluctant to do that. So here we sit as we get deeper and deeper into July and almost August, but the reality is as much as Goodell would like to say there is no timetable on this, we’re what, a week away, eight days away from the Hall of Fame induction? They don’t want it to obscure that weekend. We’ve got more teams reporting to camp by the day, so I can’t imagine this lingers too much longer.”
The same cannot be said, however, for the uncertainty surrounding Russell Wilson’s tenure in Seattle. Wilson, who is in the final year of his rookie contract, is seeking a lucrative, long-term deal, but so far, the Seahawks haven’t offered one – or at least not one to Wilson’s liking.
Who has more leverage in this situation?
“I think that that pendulum swings dramatically with each week that Russell Wilson just goes out there and plays football and acts like Russell Wilson,” La Canfora said. “He doesn’t have to have some monumental season. He doesn’t have to have a huge breakthrough. All he has to do is remain on the career path he’s on, and there will be numerous teams willing to pay him $22, $23 million a year to be their quarterback. So right now, he’s assuming the injury risk if he puts those pads on in July and is just playing for $1.5 (million). But the kind of athlete he is, the way he plays the game, he’s been very healthy to this point. How many quarterbacks really suffer cataclysmic injuries that negate their short- and long-term earning potential? It just doesn’t happen all that often. He’s a strong-willed guy, he’s wired like Joe Flacco, he’s been proving people wrong for a long time, he’s got a chip on his shoulder and he’s all football. He’s got every right to gamble on himself, and he’s got certain parameters in mind, especially in terms of guaranteed money and contract structure. And if they’re not willing to put him there, he’s not going to mope, he’s not going to pout, he’s not going to grumble; he’s going to play his butt off. And chances are, he’s going to win in the end, I believe, whether that’s with Seattle or elsewhere.”