Tom Brady was present for all of the 10-hour-plus appeal hearing for his alleged role in Deflategate and the New England Patriots quarterback reportedly performed at the top of his game.
A source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter that “Tom Brady’s greatest ally today was Tom Brady.”
Sources also told Schefter that Brady came off as “very genuine, earnest and persuasive” as he addressed every issue raised in the league-sanctioned Ted Wells Report during Tuesday’s long meeting with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, and one source called it “an A-plus performance.”
The NFL suspended Brady on May 11 for the first four games of the 2015 season in connection with the Patriots using underinflated footballs in the AFC Championship Game against the Indianapolis Colts in January. The Patriots went on to win the Super Bowl.
The appeal hearing, which began at 9:30 a.m. ET, was expected to end by Tuesday afternoon but extended well into the evening before it concluded.
Accompanying Brady was his attorney, Jeffrey Kessler, as they tried to convince Goodell to reduce or nullify the suspension.
“We put in a very compelling case, that’s all I’ll say,” Kessler said upon exiting the NFL’s Park Avenue offices Tuesday night.
Brady now must wait to find out if his appeal carried any weight with Goodell, who personally heard the appeal despite objections from the NFL Players Association which had asked the commissioner to recuse himself.
It was growing dark when Goodell left the league headquarters after he heard Brady and representatives from the players’ union during the meeting, according to ESPN.
Patriots owner Bob Kraft, who is on a trip to Israel with a group of Pro Football Hall of Famers, sent a sworn affidavit backing Brady. ESPN reported that the affidavit had “almost a holy feel to it.”
The transcript of the proceedings won’t be released anytime soon.
“There is a confidentiality agreement in place,” NFL spokesman Greg Aiello told Pro Football Talk via email Tuesday night.