Tom Brady has declared war ... formally suing the National Football League over his Deflategate punishment -- claiming the league had no right to suspend him for 4 games.
Brady and the NFL Players Association filed the lawsuit in Minnesota ... and are seeking to vacate the suspension levied against the New England Patriots star by Commissioner Roger Goodell.
The NFL had claimed Brady cheated -- and then tried to cover up any traces of his involvement by destroying his Samsung phone. Brady has denied any wrongdoing.
Story developing ...