It’s been 18 months since the Deflategate scandal began, and finally, there is an end in sight. Following Wednesday’s decision by the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit to deny Tom Brady’s petition for a rehearing, it’s looking like the saga will conclude before the start of the 2016 NFL season.
Brady’s only hope of getting his four-game suspension overturned is by taking his case to the Supreme Court. The NFL Players Association released a statement saying it will review all its options.
"We are disappointed with the decision denying a rehearing, as there were clear violations of our collective bargaining agreement by the NFL and Commissioner Roger Goodell," the statement said.
"Despite today's result, the track record of this League office when it comes to matters of player discipline is bad for our business and bad for our game. We have a broken system that must be fixed."
Brady has done all he can to fight the suspension, but the odds are firmly against him. If he does appeal to the Supreme Court, not much is likely to result from it.
In order for his case to reach the Supreme Court, Brady would need to be granted a stay by the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, which is led by the same judges that just ruled against the New England Patriots’ quarterback. If Brady is successful in the Second Circuit, which appears to be unlikely, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg receives the request for the case to be heard.
According to ESPN legal analyst Lester Munson, the court is aware that a decision must be made before Week 1. But it’s possible that Ginsburg could issue a stay and the court won’t hear the case until late in the season. That could force Brady to serve his suspension in the playoffs if the ruling doesn’t eventually go his way.
Ultimately, the case probably won’t ever reach the Supreme Court, which hears less than five percent of the cases that are filed. Brady's request must be filed by Oct. 11.