Tom Brady won't appeal Deflategate suspension to Supreme Court
New England Patriots star quarterback Tom Brady is standing down in his legal battle in the Deflategate controversy, accepting a four-game NFL suspension.
The former Super Bowl and NFL Most Valuable Player announced on Facebook on Friday that he won't appeal his suspension to the United States Supreme Court.
This decision comes two days after Brady's latest appeal of the NFL punishment was rejected in a one-sentence decision by the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan.
This means Brady will miss the opening four games of the regular season, including a Sept. 22 game at Gillette Stadium against the Texans, as well as games against the Arizona Cardinals, Miami Dolphins and Buffalo Bills. Backup quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo will start in place of Brady.
That left Brady facing the long shot of appealing to the Supreme Court, which legal experts predicted would be tough to convince to take up the case. Brady allegedly had a role in a scheme to deflate footballs prior to the 2015 AFC championship game against the Indianapolis Colts, according to NFL special investigator Ted Wells.
"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 on Facebook. "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."
The NFL Players Association, the players' union that appealed on behalf of Brady, issued a statement saying it will review all legal options and didn't rule out petitioning the Supreme Court. Regardless, it's unlikely that would change anything for Brady.
"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 union said. "This decision was made in the 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."
Aaron Wilson covers the NFL for National Football Post, his second stint at the Post. He has previously written for Pro Football Talk and FOX Sports-Scout. Entering his 13th year covering the Baltimore Ravens, he's a beat writer for The Baltimore Sun. Wilson has also covered the Jacksonville Jaguars and Tennessee Titans.