Tom Brady will have his day in court, and the good news is, it won't hurt the Patriots' play during the current Super Bowl season, USA Today reports.
The New England quarterback will appear before the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on March 3, 2016, to be present for oral arguments against the NFL's case to uphold Brady's four-game suspension.
Fans are heaving a sigh of relief because the date of the court hearing takes place weeks after Feb. 7, 2016, when Super Bowl 50 concludes. The new date was noted in the court record on Monday. And the development also assures Brady that he has no need to fear a suspension order for the duration of the Super Bowl playoffs.
The March 3 hearing comes more than a year after 2014 AFC Championship Game concluded - the game that set off what is now known as "Deflategate."
While the New England Patriots defeated the Indianapolis Colts in the last championship game, the victory was bitter-sweet after Ted Wells discovered during an independent investigation that the Patriots played against the Colts with deflated footballs.
The investigation also found at least two Patriots employees were responsible and that Brady at the very least was "generally aware" of what was going on.
In June this year, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell upheld Brady's four-game suspension, the Washington Post reports.
This was not the only punishment involved. The Patriots was also slapped with a $1 million fine and lost first and fourth-round draft picks.
Brady however, has maintained he is not involved alleged scheme to deflate footballs at the time of the last AFC championship game. He also responded to the arbitration sentence by taking the NFL to court, but in September, Judge Richard M. Berman overturned this arbitration award. Though the suspension is now officially lifted, the NFL will appeal this district court decision on March 3.
The Washington Post mentioned the reasons why the ruling had to be vacated: there were grounds that proved Brady did not receive notice of his alleged misconduct. Berman also could not examine NFL general counsel Jeff Pash, nor access the files used in the investigation by Wells. Thus with such grounds the arbitration ruling seemed unfair.
At the moment, Brady is enjoying MVP status. His stats have an 111.1 rating, 3,043 yards passing, 24 touchdowns and three interceptions. The Patriots are now leading (9-0) since Monday night's game vs. Buffalo.