The NFL has filed a motion for an expedited briefing schedule in its appeal of Tom Brady's dissolved suspension ruling, according to documents obtained Friday by NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport.
The NFL Players Association has consented to the motion. If the court agrees, a briefing for the appeal would be completed by late December, with oral arguments scheduled for early next year. As a result, Brady's playing status for this season likely would not be affected by the league's appeal.
NFL attorney Daniel Nash detailed some of the reasons behind the expedited hearing motion.
"This appeal presents important and recurring issues associated with administration of the parties' CBA," Nash wrote in the court documents. "Prompt resolution of those issues will enable the parties to address and resolve future proceedings more effectively and more expeditiously, and also ensure that the parties have the opportunity, in advance of the 2016 regular season, to know Mr. Brady's status and to plan accordingly. In addition, as the publicity surrounding this case confirms, these are issues in which NFL fans, as well as the parties, have substantial interest."
Brady was suspended four games by the NFL in May after Ted Wells, an independent investigator hired by the NFL, concluded it was "more probable than not" that the New England Patriots quarterback was "generally aware" of team staffers deflating footballs prior to the AFC Championship game in January.
Last month, U.S. District Judge Richard Berman nullified the four-game suspension. The decision came after multiple attempts at settlement between Brady, his council, the NFL Players Association and the NFL. The league officially appealed Berman's decision the same day.
Berman's ruling was a clear victory for Brady, who had considered accepting a one-game suspension, according to Rapoport. Brady did not want to accept any responsibility for the findings of the Wells Report.