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Wednesday’s roundup: Union wants call on Brady

Austin Knoblauch
Los Angeles Times

It’s been nearly a month since Tom Brady appealed his four-game Deflategate suspension, and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has yet to announce whether he will uphold or modify the four-time Super Bowl winner’s punishment.

Speaking on NBC Sports Radio on Wednesday, NFL Players’ Association president Eric Winston expressed frustration over the NFL’s handling of Brady’s appeal, and said union officials are prepared to “take the next step” if Goodell doesn’t overturn the suspension.

“It’s not even worth trying to guess what’s going on because it doesn’t seem like all the time that they know what’s going on,” Winston said. “I hope they do the right thing; I hope they exonerate Tom and overturn his suspension, but if they don’t, we’re prepared to take the next step, whatever that next step might be.”

It’s unclear what steps the players union might take if Brady’s suspension isn’t dissolved, but Brady, reportedly, is prepared to fight any suspension in federal court. To defend him in the Deflategate case, Brady retained lawyer Jeffrey Kessler, who has successfully fought the NFL on multiple occasions, including the New Orleans Saints’ Bountygate scandal in 2008.

The NFL suspended Brady in May after an NFL-commissioned investigation by attorney Ted Wells concluded it was “more probable than not” that Brady was “generally aware” of team attendants deflating footballs prior to the AFC Championship game against the Colts on Jan. 18.

Brady has continued to deny any wrongdoing.

Goodell, who imposed the suspension, appointed himself to hear the appeal. Goodell also fined the Patriots $1 million and stripped them of a first-round draft pick next year and a fourth-round selection in 2017.

Extra points

Heisman Trophy winner Marcus Mariota signed with the Titans, becoming the last of the NFL’s first-round draft picks to finalize his deal.

The former Oregon quarterback is expected to start immediately, with the timing of the contract keeping the No. 2 overall pick on track to open the season Sept. 13 at Tampa Bay against Jameis Winston — the No. 1 overall selection from the draft.

... The Browns signed offensive lineman Joe Madsen, placed rookie draft picks Ifo Ekpre-Olomu and Randall Telfer on the active/non-football injury list, and placed defensive lineman Tory Slater on the active/physically-unable-to-perform list.

... The Saints have placed late-round draft choices Davis Tull and Marcus Murphy, and rookie free agent Antonio Johnson on their non-football injury list.