- Steven Senne/AP
Now that Tom Brady has dropped his case against the NFL over his Deflategate suspension, he will miss the first four games of the upcoming season.
While missing one-fourth of the NFL season may sound harsh for being accused of making a football more usable, it turns out that the punishment is even worse than that.
Some of the restrictions on Brady during his month-long absence are straightforward, such as not being allowed at Gillette Stadium.
But Karen Guregian of the Boston Herald dug a little deeper and asked the NFL exactly what Brady can and cannot do while suspended.
Here are some of the more eyebrow-raising notes:
- Brady can’t have any contact with head coach Bill Belichick or any other member of the coaching staff while suspended. He is not allowed to play catch with any current teammates, even if it is away from the New England Patriots’ facilities. According to Guregian, Rob Gronkowski can’t play catch with Brady even if he goes to Brady’s house. Brady is not permitted to participate in any football-related activities with teammates, “even if away from the club facility.” He is not even allowed to have football-related “discussions” with teammates. Brady cannot receive game film from the Patriots while suspended.
Brady will still be able to work out and play catch with people who are not employed by the Patriots. And Guregian did speculate that Brady could simply buy the All-22 game film that the NFL makes available to fans. But that is not going to be the same as his usual routine.
In fact, it sounds like the only communication Brady can have with anybody involved with the Patriots will be for his personal trainer to check in with the team’s training staff to discuss any rehab progress being made from minor injuries.
Of course, these are the same rules for all players suspended by the NFL. But it is one thing to tell a backup linebacker that he can’t workout with his teammates. It is something else to tell one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time that he cannot use teammates to keep his arm in shape during a month-long absence.
There is also a bit of the “honor system” involved here. But considering what Brady has gone through with the NFL over the last 19 months, nobody would blame him if he didn’t want to test the NFL on these rules.