Brady to suit up after 'Deflategate' win; NFL appeals

Thu Sep 3, 2015 5:43pm EDT
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By Joseph Ax and Steve Ginsburg

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Star quarterback Tom Brady will play in the New England Patriots' season opener next week after a federal judge threw out his "Deflategate" suspension on Thursday - but the National Football League has not conceded defeat just yet.

Within hours of the ruling, the NFL appealed the order vacating Brady's four-game suspension.

U.S. District Judge Richard Berman's decision in New York was a major setback for NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, who had suspended Brady for his alleged role in a scheme to deflate footballs used in the Patriots' January playoff victory.

The league's appeal, which will likely take months to resolve, ensures the litigation will continue to loom over the 2015 season.

"While the legal phase of this process continues, we look forward to focusing on football and the opening of the regular season," Goodell said in a statement.

Brady, 38, had been banned until an Oct. 18 clash with the Indianapolis Colts, which would have cost him nearly $2 million in salary. He is expected to start the Patriots' first game on Sept. 10 against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Shortly after the decision, the Patriots posted a picture on Twitter of Brady pumping his fist in the air during a game.

"Tom Brady is a classy person of the highest integrity," Patriots owner Robert Kraft said in a statement. "He represents everything that is great about this game and this league."   Continued...

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady exits the Manhattan Federal Courthouse in New York, August 31, 2015. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid