'Deflagate' reaction: Goodell overreached
"From the league office perspective, last year went as bad as it could. This season is about to kick off and this is a damning decision. This is a slap in the face of the NFL."
Adam Schefter , ESPN
"Good thing Roger Goodell is going to appeal. We wouldn't want to hear #NFL and think "players" when we can instead think "lawsuits."
Keith Olbermann, on Twitter
"The right thing happened. Case was never proven. Now the Patriots need to get their 2 draft picks back."
Peter King, SI on Twitter
"NFL starts the season with an illegal procedure call."
Sam Farmer, Los Angeles Times on Twitter
"Berman's ruling is remarkably consistent to his mocking of NFL in second Brady hearing. Embarrassing defeat for Goodell."
Dan Wetzel, Yahoo on Twitter
"Goodell's reputation comes away from Berman's decision tattered but intact. Berman didn't do anything to strip Goodell of his negotiated right to serve as an arbitrator. But as the NFLPA pointed out, it's what Goodell does with that power that matters."
Mike Garafolo, Fox Sports
"Make no mistake, a gradual changing of the guard has been underway and this should only intensify it. Goodell isn't going anywhere. This stare-down with the most influential owner in the NFL indicates as much. But the pressure on him to alter the make-up of those around him will only increase after the events of this week."
Jason La Canfora, cbssports.com
"Goodell is in quicksand. The more he struggles and fights to assert his authority and execute his vision for the NFL, the deeper he sinks. He is taking the league's credibility with him."
Christopher L. Gasper, Boston Globe
"We never make the mistake of trusting the league. I don't have the luxury of trusting the league. I think looking back on the statements of Mr. Kraft and the position of the Patriots, do I think they wish they had a do over? I think they probably wish they had a do over."
DeMaurice Smith, NFL Players Association executive director
"From a procedural standpoint, here's what will happen, eventually. Of the 22 judges assigned to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit (located in New York), three will be randomly assigned to preside over the case. If only two of them agree with the NFL and disagree with Judge Berman, the NFL will win."
It's that simple. Before the district court, it was an all-or-nothing argument to one judge and one judge only. On appeal, it's a matter of persuading two of three judges.
The political backgrounds of those judges will be critical to the final ruling. If two of them were appointed by Republican presidents, chances are that they will be more inclined to agree with management. If, like Judge Berman, two of the judges were appointed by Democratic presidents, they could be inclined to agree with labor."
Mike Florio, Pro Football Talk
"The simplest explanation for Judge Berman's decision is that the NFL failed to show that it applied Article 46 of the collective bargaining agreement in a fair and consistent way. Remember, this was a case about process and specifically how the NFL investigated and punished Brady. The NFL had a relatively low bar to meet. Federal judges rarely vacate arbitration awards and only in extraordinary circumstances. Yet Judge Berman identified so many problems in the NFL's application of Article 46 that he felt compelled to vacate Brady's suspension."
Michael McCann, Sports Illustrated