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Tom Brady discipline: 'everything is being considered'

Two notable topics dominate the NFL landscape now and both affect the Miami Dolphins to varying degrees.

The small tidbit of news I can offer is that the NFL is weighing a suspension of New England quarterback Tom Brady that could span up to one season. "Everything is being studied, everything is being considered," an NFL source with knowledge of the disciplinary procedure told me Wednesday night.

The source said it would be wrong to think a season-long suspension will absolutely be the punishment doled out because that decision had not been finalized at the time of our conversation. 

But he also said it would be wrong to dismiss such an extended and seemingly improbable length of time as the ceiling for discipline.

The source declined to give a discipline floor, or the most lenient discipline Brady is facing. 

Interestingly, the source did not mention possible discipline for New England coach Bill Belichick or owner Robert Kraft.

It is clear the NFL is expecting to hand down some sort of discipline on #deflategate following the unveiling of the Ted Wells report at 1 p.m. Wednesday.

The process is in the hands of NFL executive vice president of football operations Troy Vincent and others.

(Yes, the Troy Vincent who was drafted by the Miami Dolphins, and also played for the Buffalo Bills, Washington Redskins, and Philadelphia Eagles).

ESPN has reported the NFL would respond to this Wells Report (there was another, you may recall) within days, not weeks.

That time frame is correct. 

Obviously, if Brady misses the entire season, the AFC East is up for grabs. Indeed, this has implications beyond the division.

The last time a team other than New England won the AFC East was 2008 when the Dolphins won the division in a year Brady was injured the first regular-season game and missed the rest of the year.

Even a lesser suspension for Brady could affect the division. New England's backup quarterback is second-year player Jimmy Garoppolo. Garoppolo has thrown 27 NFL regular-season passes.

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