In case you missed it, Tom Brady‘s chances at again avoiding the four-game suspension for his role in the Patriots’ Deflategate controversy dwindled again on Wednesday, with the Second United States Circuit Court of Appeals denying the quarterback’s request for a rehearing. Here’s a look at the latest coming out of this unrelenting scandal.
- Brady and the NFLPA plan to attempt to have this case heard by the Supreme Court under a certiorari petition, but that is being described as a Hail Mary by legal experts, including Jodi Balsam, a former NFL counsel for operations and litigation. “I expect [the Supreme Court] to [have] zero interest in this case,” Balsam told Lorenzo Reyes of USA Today. Although Brady is arguably the NFL’s highest-profile player, the Supreme Court receives between 7,000-10,000 requests each term to hear cases, granting around 80 in that time frame, Reyes writes. Four of the current eight justices must agree to hear the case, one that saw the Second Circuit rule against Brady twice now.
- A slim chance exists for Brady to line up at quarterback for the Pats during their first four games this season, and that is for the Supreme Court to grant a stay should it agree to review the case. Before that can occur, however, the Second Circuit must deny one. Raffi Melkonian, a partner at the Houston firm of Wright & Close, told Reyes that should happen fairly quickly since it won’t expect SCOTUS to hear Deflategate-related arguments. Melkonian views this as another long-shot effort.
- SCOTUS, though, will almost certainly decide whether or not to grant this stay by Week 1, Lester Munson of ESPN.com writes. The 39-year-old quarterback’s notoriety could benefit him in coaxing the Supreme Court to grant the stay. But that would be a calculated risk with the court possibly deciding not to take the case soon after, thereby finalizing Brady’s suspension but potentially postponing it until later in the 2016 season, Munson writes. As of now, Brady would miss games against the Cardinals, Dolphins, Texans and Bills — the latter three scheduled for Foxborough. The Patriots have contests against the Bengals and Steelers in October, the Seahawks in November and Broncos in December. But Munson categorizes these chances as slim as well, with Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg — who oversees the Second Circuit — likely only granting the stay if she knows the court will take the case. So, it looks like Brady’s suspension will begin in September if his side can’t pull off another escape.
- These four games will go a long way toward determining Jimmy Garoppolo‘s status in New England, Doug Kyed of NESN.com tweets. Brady’s backup will enter the third season of a four-year contract, and with Brady likely playing through that deal, there might not be another opportunity for the 24-year-old understudy to prove he can be the long-term answer. A strong September showing could lead to extension talks, Kyed notes, or possible trade discussions if the Patriots believe Brady will be a viable option after he turns 41 in 2018.