Berman accused Goodell of dispensing "his own brand of industrial justice." Brady was consistent on denying that he had any knowledge of balls being deflated in the AFC Championship win over the Indianapolis Colts.
The league announced later Thursday that they "respectfully" disagree with the decision and will appeal. They appealed to the 2nd U.S. District Court of Appeals in Manhattan with a one page notice from NFL attorney Daniel Nash. Brady will be able to play while the court considers the appeal.
The league's appeal could take months before a final decision comes through. Historically, these appeals are not successful, and many expect the same fate with this one. Berman listed multiple legal deficiencies in the league's handling of the controversy, including giving no advanced warning of penalties and failing to produce a key witness in the case.
Berman also referenced the collective bargaining agreement, which he believes Goodell went against due to Brady having no knowledge that he could receive a four-game suspension for having awareness of ball deflation.
The decision makes Brady eligible to play in the season opener Thursday night against the Pittsburgh Steelers. The move turned the Patriots from 3-point favorites to 6.5-point favorites. The over/under total grew from 48.5 points to 51.
Goodell will not be at the 2015 season opener in Foxborough, despite the tradition of the commissioner attending the first game of every season.
Patriots owner Robert Kraft spoke with a sense of relief following the announcement, highlighting Brady's class and integrity throughout the entire situation. Kraft went on to say that Brady "represents everything that is great about the league," and now he can officially erase this blemish from his record.