Most importantly, it's highly likely that Elliott will now play the entire 2017 season while this thing is straightened out in court. The Southern District of NY falls under the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which previous year backed Goodell's four-game suspension of New England quarterback Tom Brady in the "Deflategate" case.
Elliott sued the National Football League last week, citing a 'conspiracy" to "hide critical information' and was not given an opportunity to face his accuser and information to make his case was withheld during the appeal process.
This week, an arbitrator upheld the suspension of Elliott and denied his appeal. Elliott contends that Goodell ignored key evidence and that witnesses and evidence were not made available to Elliott's defense team during the appeals process. On Friday, the judge confirmed those misgivings, ruling that Elliott did "not receive a fundamentally fair hearing" from the league.
The NFL released a statement after the ruling that strongly suggested that this case will be in the courts for a while.
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While Friday's decision serves as a victory for the 22-year-old Elliott, it does not mean that he won't have to serve the suspension at some point. If granted, he'd be eligible to play while the case works its way through the courts. The league launched its own investigation, and ultimately reached the conclusion that he should be suspended 6 games. During her investigation, Roberts, a former assistant district attorney in Brooklyn, interviewed the woman who made the allegations against Elliott. But the most candid owners admitted that that would be a big "give" by the owners, meaning they would expect something big in return from players to get discipline out of the commissioner's office. If you're drafting this weekend, you'll need to decide how much risk you want to take on Elliott as a potential 2nd- or 3rd-round pick. Elliott is, in fact, using the very same lawyer who took on Brady's case.
The NFL will allow Elliott to play in the Sunday game, but his fate for the rest of the season is up in the air.
One day after Deflategate finally came to a close with Goodell's return to Foxborough for the season opener, the NFL's next fraught confrontation emerges.