Does Tom Brady’s Upheld Suspension Affect Other NFL Players?

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Jan 31, 2016; Honolulu, HI, USA; General view of the NFL gold shield logo at the 50-yard line to commemorate Super Bowl 50 during the 2016 Pro Bowl at Aloha Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 31, 2016; Honolulu, HI, USA; General view of the NFL gold shield logo at the 50-yard line to commemorate Super Bowl 50 during the 2016 Pro Bowl at Aloha Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /
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Tom Brady’s appeal was denied, but should the rest of the NFL be worried about what this means for them?

The Cincinnati Bengals have a linebacker who plays on the line, with the occasional crossing. On Wednesday, Tom Brady’s appeal of the decision to reinstate his suspension was denied and he will remain suspended. So what does that mean for the rest of the NFL.

Players like James Harrison, Vontaze Burfict, Ndamukong Suh, and soon to be Ryan Shazier, if he continues to launch himself head first, will not have a foot to stand on during appeals of suspension. Granted the NFL has its own checks in place, with an appeals board, but it is ultimately coming down to the power of one man. Roger Goodell.

We asked FanSided’s Lead NFL Writer and Head of Video, Matt Verderame, his thoughts on how the NFLPA and NFL will handle things after this decision to uphold the suspension.

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SH: Do you think Tom Brady’s suspension being upheld by the U.S. Court System is going to set a precedent for how the NFLPA approaches future suspension appeals?

"MV: Brady’s suspension being upheld will certainly force the NFLPA to think about going to the bargaining table with Roger Goodell quicker. I also believe the NFL will have a tough time holding complete power through the next CBA negotiation."

SH: Do you think Goodell starts to push for harsher punishments for players, knowing he has only limited checks and balances on their rulings? 

"MV: Goodell won’t want to purposely enrage players, so I think he holds off on going heavy-handed. The commissioner already has an image problem that he does not want to exacerbate."

It may not affect the league or the players immediately, as Matt said, but it is certainly could push the NFL and the NFL Players Association to the table sooner than the 2021 expiration of the current collective bargaining agreement. As for this year, players will just need to keep their nose a little cleaner if they want to avoid a meeting with the league.

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