Brady, his agent and the team called the punishment "ridiculous", and the Pats' star will appeal his suspension. If it stands, he will not only miss the season opener against the Pittsburgh Steelers, but games against the Buffalo Bills, Jacksonville Jaguars and Dallas Cowboys. Due to a bye week, Brady would be eligible to return in week 5, ironically against the Indianapolis Colts, the team that the incident took place against.
The league also suspended two equipment staffers who were involved, including one that called himself "The Deflator."
The fine the team faces is the largest fine in NFL history. They lose two draft picks, a first-rounder in 2016 and fourth-rounder in 2017. Team owner Robert Kraft released a statement calling the discipline excessive, and saying that Brady still has the team's "unconditional support" and said "belief in him has not wavered."
As of now, former Eastern Illinois QB and 2014 draft pick Jimmy Garoppolo is scheduled to replace Brady to begin the season. He won the Walter Payton award as the best player in the FCS, but has thrown just 27 NFL passes and one touchdown.
There are many different opinions and thoughts around the league, some thinking the punishment was too harsh, others saying it was perfect and some wanting even more. Pats' faithful have voiced their displeasure, talking about protesting the first game of the year.
Brady is the face of the league and stated in multiple press conferences that he had nothing to do with the balls being deflated. The investigation has gone on for a while, and if it was found that Brady had any knowledge of this, he deserves the punishment. Although, the league has made mistake after mistake recently, so many believe that their investigation is not valid.
With Brady's appeal, it is expected that, if anything changes, the suspension will be reduced to just two games.