As it currently stands, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady won’t suit up for the first four games of the 2016 NFL season.
The U.S. Court of Appeals ruled 2-1 on Monday to reinstate Brady’s four-game suspension for his alleged involvement in Deflategate.
“We hold that the Commissioner properly exercised his broad discretion under the collective bargaining agreement and that his procedural rulings were properly grounded in that agreement and did not deprive Brady of fundamental fairness,” the ruling reads. “Accordingly, we REVERSE the judgment of the district court and REMAND with instructions to confirm the award.”
U.S. District Court Judge Richard R. Berman vacated the suspension handed down by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell last September. The NFL took Berman’s decision to the U.S. Court of Appeals, where judges Robert Katzmann, Barrington Parker and Denny Chin heard the league’s case. Parker and Chin ruled in the NFL’s favor, while Katzmann dissented to the decision.
Now Brady and the NFL Players Association can seek a stay and either ask for a re-hearing before the second circuit or appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. Seeking a stay could delay the suspension, but if Brady loses a re-hearing or appeal, then the suspension could come down at any point during the season.
Jimmy Garoppolo, whom the Patriots selected in the second round of the 2014 NFL Draft, is New England’s backup quarterback. The Patriots don’t have a third-string signal-caller on their 90-man roster.
Thumbnail photo via Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports Images