While a date has yet to be set on the Tom Brady appeal to the NFL regarding his 4-game suspension, his team suffered its first setback.The NFL Players Association submitted a formal request that Commissioner Roger Goodell step aside as the arbitrator in the appeal hearing which has now been denied by the league. NFL attorney's recommended that Goodell should continue to preside and rule on the appeal.

Under the rules of the collective bargaining agreement between the league and the union, Goodell has the right to serve as arbitrator on any appeal by a player with respect to discipline handed down by the league.

The union wanted Goodell to step aside because they maintain that he played an integral part in deciding Brady's punishment in the first place. Should Goodell not step aside which he could still do, and not completely overturn their initial ruling, the union believes that gives them more grounds to pursue a lawsuit following the appeal.