Brady will serve De­flate­gate sus­pen­sion

The Hamilton Spectator - - SPORTS - JIMMY GOLEN

Tom Brady said on Fri­day he will not ask the U.S. Supreme Court to block his four-game “De­flate­gate” sus­pen­sion, end­ing his fight in a scan­dal that tested the power of the NFL com­mis­sioner and tar­nished the rep­u­ta­tion of one of the sport’s greatest play­ers.

“It has been a chal­leng­ing 18 months and I have made the dif­fi­cult de­ci­sion to no longer pro­ceed with the le­gal process,” the New Eng­land Pa­tri­ots quar­ter­back said in a Face­book post. “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 de­ci­sion by the four-time Su­per Bowl cham­pion comes two days af­ter his case was turned aside by the 2nd U.S. Cir­cuit Court of Ap­peals. Brady’s only re­main­ing hope to take the field when the Pa­tri­ots open the sea­son against Ari­zona on Sept. 11 had been a stay from the United States’ high­est court, which ac­cepts about 1 per cent of the ap­peals sub­mit­ted.

More wor­ri­some for Brady and the Pa­tri­ots, though, was the chance that he would re­ceive a stay — which would re­quire only the bless­ing of a sin­gle Supreme Court jus­tice — only to have the whole court later refuse to hear the case. That could al­low the sus­pen­sion to fall at a more in­con­ve­nient time in the sea­son, per­haps in­clud­ing the play­offs.

“This de­ci­sion was made in the in­ter­est of cer­tainty and plan­ning for Tom prior to the New Eng­land Pa­tri­ots sea­son,” the NFL Play­ers As­so­ci­a­tion said in a state­ment on Fri­day.

But the union said it was still con­sid­er­ing whether to seek on its own a Supreme Court rul­ing that could limit Com­mis­sioner Roger Good­ell’s au­thor­ity to pun­ish play­ers.

With­out a stay of the sus­pen­sion, Brady would sit out the first four games of the sea­son when the Pa­tri­ots face the Car­di­nals, Dol­phins, Tex­ans and Bills.

Brady would be el­i­gi­ble to re­turn in Week 5, when New Eng­land is sched­uled to visit the Cleve­land Browns. De­spite the sus­pen­sion, the Pa­tri­ots re­main over­whelm­ing favourites to win the AFC East for the 13th time in 14 sea­sons, and the gam­bling web­site Bo­vada listed them as the top choice to win the Su­per Bowl.

Orig­i­nally sus­pended four games af­ter the league con­cluded the Pa­tri­ots in­ten­tion­ally un­der­in­flated the foot­balls used in the AFC Cham­pi­onship game on Jan. 18, 2015, Brady em­barked on an odyssey to clear his name.

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