Tom Brady has given up the fight against the NFL when it comes to his four-game suspension, but the NFL Players Association might not be done with its fight to curtail the disciplinary power of NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.
Brady announced on Facebook that he won’t proceed with further appeals to have his four-game suspension wiped out or shortened after losing his latest legal battle. The suspension was handed down after the NFL said Brady “more likely than not” knew about Patriots employees deflating footballs during the AFC Championship game in January 2015.
“I’m very grateful for the overwhelming support I’ve received from Mr. [Robert] Kraft, the Kraft family, coach [Bill] Belichick, my coaches and teammates, the NFLPA, my agents, my loving family and most of all, our fans,” Brady posted on his Facebook account. “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.”
The NFLPA followed up with a statement saying that the union would not be seeking a stay of Brady’s suspension but was withholding the right to challenge Goodell’s power.
“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 NFLPA said in its statement. “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.”
By accepting his suspension, Brady gives the Patriots clarity on their quarterback situation for the first four games of the season. Jimmy Garoppolo will be the starter and Brady is eligible to return to action after the team’s fourth regular-season game. Brady would be available to play in the preseason; however, the Patriots may dedicate more time to preparing Garoppolo for his first NFL start.
Brady’s acceptance of the suspension also means that a potential court case wouldn’t drag into the season, whereby he might possibly have been available for the start of the season and ended up having to serve the suspension later in the season.
In two seasons with the Patriots, Garoppolo has played in 11 games, going in 20-for-31 for 188 yards, one touchdown and no interceptions.