Pop the bubbly. Deflategate is 500 days old, which is hard to believe, since it feels about 5,000 days old at this point.
Deflategate began the night of Jan. 18, 2015, and somehow, amazingly, there’s still news about the New England Patriots’ alleged cheating scandal every day. Here’s where we currently stand, halfway to a 1,000 days:
— Tom Brady and the NFL Players Association have petitioned to the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to have the Patriots quarterback’s four-game suspension, which was reinstated by two second-circuit judges, vacated once again. If the appeal is heard, Brady will receive a stay on the suspension, which originally was handed down by the NFL and upheld by commissioner Roger Goodell, and could be eligible to play for the Patriots in Week 1.
— If Brady’s petition isn’t heard, he could appeal the suspension’s reinstatement to the U.S. Supreme Court. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg could wind up deciding whether Brady begins the 2016 season on the active list. If Brady is forced to serve his suspension, Jimmy Garoppolo would start for the Patriots. He impressed in the first day of organized team activities.
— Brady has support from the Patriots, the AFL-CIO, Kenneth Feinberg and a group of professors, all of whom have filed amicus briefs in support of the QB. A team, like the Patriots, being in a legal battle with the NFL is almost unheard of, and it shows how much support and belief Brady has from owner Robert Kraft.
— The Patriots were stripped of their 2016 first-round draft pick. They also were stripped of their 2017 fourth-round draft pick.
— There’s no concrete timeline for when the second circuit court will decide whether to hear Brady’s petition, but something tells us it will come directly before or after the NFL’s month-long break, which begins later this month.
— Odds reportedly are slim that Brady will have his latest appeal heard, but odds also reportedly were slim that the NFL would win its latest appeal. Brady has high-powered support from the Patriots, the AFL-CIO and Feinberg, so it seems as though anything could happen at this point.
— The biggest question that remains at this point is: What if Brady wins his appeal? Would the NFL appeal again, further dragging on Deflategate? Is it actually possible this lasts another 500 days? Check back October 14, 2017.
Thumbnail photo via Stew Milne/USA TODAY Sports Images
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