At long last, Deflategate could finally be in its death throes. Maybe.
Patriots quarterback Tom Brady announced on his Facebook page that he will not seek an appeal to the Supreme Court, after the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals rejected his last-ditch effort to overturn the four-game suspension imposed by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.
“I’m very grateful for the overwhelming support I’ve received from Mr. Kraft, the Kraft family, coach Belichick, my coaches and teammates, the NFLPA, my agents, my loving family and most of all, our fans,” Brady wrote. “It has been a challenging 18 months and I have made the difficult decision to no longer proceed with the legal process. I’m going to work hard to be the best player I can be for the New England Patriots and I look forward to having the opportunity to return to the field this fall.”
With Brady out, backup QB Jimmy Garropolo will lead the Pats through the first four games of the 2016-17, which just might be a good thing. Brady will return Week 5 against the poor, unsuspecting Cleveland Browns.
The NFL Players Association, on the other hand, is still opening to taking this to the highest court in the land.
“After careful consideration and discussion with Tom Brady, the NFLPA will not be seeking a stay of the four game suspension with the 2nd Circuit,” the organization said in a statement. “This decision was made interest of certainty and planning for Tom prior to the New England Patriots season. We will continue to review all of our options and we reserve our rights to petition for cert to the Supreme Court.”
ESPN estimates the saga, somewhere in between a discarded Camus novel and a Christopher Guest movie, cost all involved parties an estimated $22.5 million: $7.1 million for the NFLPA, $750,000 for the Patriots, and $14.7 million for the NFL, who successfully persecuted its most marketable player.
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