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NFL asks court to restore Brady’s ‘Deflategate’ suspension

FILE - In this Jan. 20, 2016, file photo, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady faces reporters before a scheduled NFL football practice, in Foxborough, Mass. Tom Brady reportedly has agreed to a two-year contract extension with the Patriots. The deal will significantly lessen Brady's salary cap hit for 2016, which would have been about $15 million. He was due to make $9 million next season and $10 million in 2017. Brady, 38, has often redone his contract to help the Patriots' cap situation. He has said he plans to play well into his 40s. (AP Photo/Steven Senne, File) ORG XMIT: NY171

NEW YORK (AP) — A federal appeals panel in New York is questioning NFL attorneys on why the simple act of deflating footballs warranted the four-game suspension the league gave New England quarterback Tom Brady.

The grilling by the three judges came Thursday as lawyers for the NFL asked the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to reinstate Brady’s suspension for the “Deflategate” controversy.

Judge Barrington Parker asked NFL attorney Paul Clement how a deflated football was even beneficial to a player.

Every player has a preference on how like they like footballs. Some like them overinflated while others prefer underinflated. The league has set a standard weight.

Clement argues Brady’s suspension is reasonable.

If the judges rule in the league’s favor, Brady may have to sit out the first four games this year. The court is unlikely to rule for weeks.