Tom Brady's four-game suspension for his alleged role in the New England Patriots' deflategate scandal was reinstated by the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Monday. In doing so, the court ruled that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell was acting within his rights to hand down the initial four-game ban.
"We hold that the Commissioner properly exercised his broad discretion under the collective bargaining agreement and that his procedural rulings were properly grounded in that agreement and did not deprive Brady of fundamental fairness," the court said in a statement.
Brady's suspension was vacated by a federal judge in September 2015, but the NFL appealed the decision, leading to Monday's 2-1 decision by a three-judge panel in New York.
Going forward, Brady and the NFL Players Association can petition for a re-hearing in front of the 2nd Circuit Court or take their appeal to the Supreme Court. No matter which route he takes, it appears the four-time Super Bowl champion is going to fight the verdict, per ESPN's Adam Schefter.
The NFL, in turn, can move forward with the full suspension or try to reach a settlement with Brady. If the full suspension is upheld, Brady would miss the Patriots' first four games against the Arizona Cardinals, Miami Dolphins, Houston Texans and Buffalo Bills.
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