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Appeals court rejects Tom Brady appeal, 4-game suspension to stick

The Second Circuit Court of Appeals has officially denied Tom Brady’s appeal on his DeflateGate suspension. A 3-judge panel of the Court of Appeals had ruled in favor of the NFL, and Brady was appealing for an en banc hearing. That would have brought out the entire panel of Second Circuit to hear the case. Brady could still appeal to the Supreme Court, but the odds of the Supreme Court accepting the case are very slim.

All of that means that he is all but assured of serving his four-game suspension to start the season. His suspension means Jimmy Garoppolo will start for the New England Patriots when they travel to face the Arizona Cardinals, and then host the Miami Dolphins, Houston Texans, and Buffalo Bills. Brady would return for Week 5 against the Cleveland Browns.

It will be fascinating to see what Garoppolo can do in those four starts, and what it could mean for his future trade value. Garoppolo is not a free agent until after the 2017 season. If he puts together a strong four-game stretch, the Patriots could decide to trade him and get some value before he departs in free agency. Of course, given Brady’s age, they could also firm up their plans to make Garoppolo the QB of the future.

Here’s the order from the court denying the appeal.