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Tom Brady will reportedly sue the NFL if his suspension isn't fully overturned

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Tom Brady's Deflategate Appeal Hearing Set to Start


(NYMag) -- Tom Brady, as you'll recall, was suspended for four games for his involvement in the Patriots' ball-deflation scandal — a decision he's appealing with the league. A ruling could come down this week, but in the meantime, a report says Brady and the NFLPA intend to sue the league if his suspension isn't overturned completely.

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Tom Brady appeal begins - "Free Tom Brady" fans
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Tom Brady will reportedly sue the NFL if his suspension isn't fully overturned
ALLSTON, MA - MAY 29: Guests attend the Tom Brady Football Challenge for The Best Buddies Challenge: Hyannis Port 2015 at Harvard Field on May 29, 2015 in Allston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Paul Marotta/Getty Images for Best Buddies)
FOXBORO, MA - MAY 24: New England Patriots fans hold a sign at the 'Free Tom Brady' rally in support of their quarterback at Gillette Stadium on May 24, 2015 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. The rally was held in protest of Brady's four game suspension for his role in the 'deflategate' scandal. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
FOXBORO, MA - MAY 24: Ryan Desilets and Jon Harmon both from Milford, Massachusetts, show support for New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady at the 'Free Tom Brady' rally at Gillette Stadium on May 24, 2015 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. The rally was held in protest of Brady's four game suspension for his role in the 'deflategate' scandal. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
FOXBORO, MA - MAY 24: Lydia Bolger of Mansfield, Massachusetts holds a sign in support of New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady at the 'Free Tom Brady' rally at Gillette Stadium on May 24, 2015 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. The rally was held in protest of Brady's four game suspension for his role in the 'deflategate' scandal. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - MAY 24: A New England Patriots fan holds a 'Free Brady' sign during the eighth inning of the game between the Boston Red Sox and the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at Fenway Park on May 24, 2015 in Boston, Massachusetts. Many Patriots fans disagree with quarterback Tom Brady's four game suspension as a consequence of his involvement in the 'deflategate' scandal (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
FOXBORO, MA - MAY 24: Local Papa John's franchises supplied free pizza at the 'Free Tom Brady' rally in support for the New England Patriots quarterback at Gillette Stadium on May 24, 2015 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. The rally was held in protest of Brady's four game suspension for his role in the 'deflategate' scandal. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
FOXBORO, MA - MAY 24: A New Englad Patriots fan shows his support for quarterback Tom Brady during the 'Free Tom Brady' rally at Gillette Stadium on May 24, 2015 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. The rally was held in protest of Brady's four game suspension for his role in the 'deflategate' scandal. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
PHOENIX, AZ - MAY 13: A fan hold ups a New England Patriots 'Free Tom Brady' sign during the MLB game between the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Washington Nationals at Chase Field on May 13, 2015 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
FOXBORO, MA - MAY 24: A New England Patriots fan shows support for quarterback Tom Brady at the 'Free Tom Brady' rally at Gillette Stadium on May 24, 2015 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. The rally was held in protest of Brady's four game suspension for his role in the 'deflategate' scandal. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
FOXBORO, MA - MAY 24: Bianca Bullock of Tampa, Florida holds a sign in support for New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady at the 'Free Tom Brady' rally at Gillette Stadium on May 24, 2015 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. The rally was held in protest of Brady's four game suspension for his role in the 'deflategate' scandal. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
FOXBORO, MA - MAY 24: Paul Goodrow of Watertown, Massachusetts holds a sign in support of New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady at the 'Free Tom Brady' rally at Gillette Stadium on May 24, 2015 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. The rally was held in protest of Brady's four game suspension for his role in the 'deflategate' scandal. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
FOXBORO, MA - MAY 24: Ryan Desilets and Jon Harmon both from Milford, Massachusetts, show support for New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady at the 'Free Tom Brady' rally at Gillette Stadium on May 24, 2015 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. The rally was held in protest of Brady's four game suspension for his role in the 'deflategate' scandal. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
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Here's Ryan Smith, a legal analyst for ABC and ESPN:

Albert Breer, a reporter for the NFL Network, says Brady met with the NFL players' union on Monday, and that his plan is to file the suit in either Massachusetts (where he's an icon) or Minnesota (a labor-friendly court).

Roger Goodell himself will decide whether to uphold, reduce, or throw out Brady's suspension, and while the threat of a suit could be an intimidation tactic, the NFLPA has used the courts in the past as a way to challenge what amounts to Goodell's absolute power over NFL business.

A lawsuit could make sense from a football perspective as well. As Deadspin explains, Brady can continue to play until the case is either heard or thrown out. The site points to a suit brought by suspended Minnesota Vikings players that took three years to wend its way through the courts. Considering Brady will be 38 when the 2015 season begins, the longer he can put off a potential suspension, the better.

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