Tom Brady’s 4-Game Suspension Reinstated by U.S. Appeals Court

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(Photo: Getty)

After playing the entire 2015 regular season, it seemed impossible that New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady would serve his four-game suspension for Deflategate in 2016. But it looks like that’s exactly what’s going to happen.

If you thought Brady’s balls were old news, you were sorely mistaken.

Almost eight months after U.S. district court judge Richard Berman vacated Brady’s suspension, the U.S. court of appeals has decided to reinstate the initial decision thanks to the NFL’s efforts to keep Deflategate a thing.

Brady’s only move to fight this is to petition for a re-hearing, or take an appeal all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. But it’s very unlikely the highest court in the land will pick up a case involving the most petty NFL punishment ever.

Whether you agree Brady did intend to deflate the footballs or not, we can all agree the four-game suspension's being handed down 15 months later is absolutely ridiculous. League owners and commissioner Roger Goodell took a mere equipment violation and turned it into a viral news story, while continuing to pour gasoline on it. Now Tom will have to serve a suspension in September 2016 for something he did in January 2015.

The Patriots will play the Cardinals, Dolphins, Texans and Bills in their first four games with backup Jimmy Garoppolo behind center, assuming Brady serves the suspension.

The real winner in this whole case is Goodell, who retains his power, far more than any commissioner in the other three major American sports. Goodell can literally suspend anyone and oversee the appeals process if that player deems the punishment unfair.