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Tom Brady could beat the NFL in federal court

The NFLPA has already put together a case on Tom Brady's behalf if that the NFL doesn't throw out his suspension.

Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

Tom Brady is prepared to take the NFL to federal court if his four-game suspension for DeflateGate isn't eliminated. More importantly, Brady and his legal team believe their chances of winning are pretty strong, according to the Washington Post.

The NFLPA has already put together a strong case on Brady's behalf that he is prepared to take to a federal court if his appeal to the NFL doesn't result in the elimination of his suspension. According to the Washington Post, the NFLPA has five major points to its case, and one is that Roger Goodell's appointment as arbitrator didn't provide fairness.

Alan Milstein, a lawyer who previously challenged the NFL as a representative for Maurice Clarett, told the Washington Post that Goodell made a mistake by appointing himself.

"The commissioner,  I thought, really made a poor choice in taking part - basically trying to become part of this arbitration. The best argument Brady has is that due process was lacking and the hearing was unfair. The best evidence is that the commissioner was part of this thing."

Milstein also believes that the NFLPA's other points hold merit and could result in Brady walking away without a punishment.

One argument that Milstein called "excellent" is that the NFL policy for handling equipment pertains to club personnel, not players. The policy that Brady is being punished for technically doesn't apply to him. Given that the policy doesn't apply to him, another point is that the punishment he received came without precedent and players have the right to know the specific punishment that comes with specific violations.

The question of whether evidence explicitly exists to prove Brady's involvement would also be a point made by the NFLPA. In the Wells Report, the NFL concluded it was "more probable than not" that the quarterback was aware of the violations occurring, but "general awareness" is a standard that likely doesn't hold much merit in federal court.

Similar violations have also occurred in the past that the NFLPA would point to as a sign of an inconsistent application of rules and punishments.

Last year, the league caught the Minnesota Vikings tampering with footballs by placing them in a dryer, a violation of the club manual. The team, the NFLPA source said, received a letter from the league and no further reprimand.

A ruling from the NFL is expected before the end of July, and if any suspension still exists Brady is expected to challenge it in court. If the case runs into the regular season, the court could grant an injunction that allows Brady to start Week 1 against the Pittsburgh Steelers regardless of a final ruling in place. The NFLPA is expected to file its potential challenge in Massachusetts or Minnesota.


SB Nation presents: Meanwhile, Rob Gronkowski is having a pretty great summer