The Second Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that Tom Brady’s suspension can be re-instated.
So, now what?
Brady’s legal team is reviewing their options, but there aren’t many. Brady can ask that the full court hear the case. But this is exceedingly rare, according to 7’s Dan Hausle.
If the court agreed to hear this case, all bets are off on how it would go. So far four judges have ruled – two in Brady’s favor, and two in favor of the NFL. How would the rest of the court see the case? It’s tough to say.
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Brady could also appeal to the United States Supreme Court. Again, it’s tough to know how this would go. The court could and very well may refuse to hear the case. Also, the court is currently a bit short-staffed. Following the death of Justice Antonin Scalia in February, the Court now has just 8 justices who are largely ideologically split, meaning a 4-4 decision isn’t out of the question if the case got that far.
It’s expected that Brady will continue to fight. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport said as much on Twitter Monday. But Brady could decide that the case is becoming a distraction. He stands to lose significantly less money than had he been suspended in 2015 thanks to a contract renegotiation. He could spend the offseason working with backup Jimmy Garoppolo, who has a friendly schedule with three of the four games at home against lesser opponents (Miami, Houston, and Buffalo).
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Lastly, and less likely, Brady could go back to Roger Goodell and offer to make a deal – he’ll drop the fight in exchange for a lesser suspension. Neither side seems amicable to any sort of resolution, but in this case, stranger things have happened.
For the Patriots, don’t be surprised if the team targets a quarterback at some point either in this weekend’s draft or via trade or free agency. Don’t expect a high-profile name, however.
And for Patriots coach Bill Belichick – as if you even needed to ask – it’s on to Arizona in Week 1.
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