Tom Brady announced on Facebook that he won't continue to pursue his case against the NFL in court. He will serve the four-game suspension issued to him by the league for his role in Deflategate, likely leaving backup quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo to start behind center for the first four games of the season.
"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."
I'm very grateful for the overwhelming support I've received from Mr. Kraft, the Kraft family, coach Belichick, my...Posted by Tom Brady on Friday, July 15, 2016
Soon after Brady's announcement was published, the NFLPA issued a release that stated it would not seek a stay of Brady's suspension with the Second Circuit Court of Appeals.
"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 wrote. "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."
Should the NFLPA petition the Supreme Court to hear the case, it would do so with the intention of taking a step toward fixing what it called a "broken system" on Wednesday after the Second Circuit denied Brady's petition for a rehearing.
The union has argued that Brady's case could have long-lasting implications on the arbitration process between the NFL and its players, and it comes as little surprise that the NFLPA -- as it indicated in Friday's statement -- may be interested in continuing to pursue the issue legally.
One reason Brady chose to accept his four-game ban as opposed to keeping up the fight, according to Pro Football Talk, is that had he been granted a stay by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, he would have been allowed to play up until the point when the Supreme Court decided not to take his case. Had the Supreme Court denial come down in November or December, Brady would have had to begin serving his punishment immediately, potentially missing division-deciding or postseason games.
By not pursuing this any further, Brady misses out on the chance that the Supreme Court would have taken his case, leading to a months-long process that might have allowed him to play the entirety of the 2016 season. However, it appears as though he wasn't willing to take that chance. He would rather miss four games at the beginning of the season than potentially miss four more important games at the end.