The NFL has upheld their 4 game suspension of Tom Brady and reduced Le'Veon Bell's today. The Cleveland Browns do not play the New England Patriots this season nor the Pittsburgh Steelers during the games impacted by Bell's. Yet the Browns are likely to be negatively impacted by both of these decisions.
First the Steelers play the Patriots in Week 1 where Brady is expected to miss his first game. That means Jimmy Garoppolo will be making his first start against the Browns rivals. The Pats game should have been a tough game for the Steelers but without Brady and with Jimmy starting his first ever NFL game the Steelers should have a much easier time starting off the season with a victory.
Brady missing when the Steelers are also without their star running back is perfect timing for the long time AFC North standouts. The Steelers have brought in DeAngelo Williams to backup Bell and to take the carries during the suspension. Yet having Bell for 2 extra games is huge. The difference between Bell and Williams is a big gap and now the Steelers will have him against the Rams and Ravens, two tough defenses.
While the Patriots are big losers today (although most are reporting Brady will sue the league) and the Steelers benefit from Bell for two extra games, both rulings work against the Browns, as well as the Ravens and Bengals.
With the tight nature of the AFC North the last few years, these two rulings could impact Playoff positioning or even who makes the post-season. The Browns, whose hopes for the Playoffs are assumed to be slim, can't like either of today's decisions. Hopefully Brady is able to play in Week 1 as the lawsuit process takes its course.