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Tom Brady's four-game suspension reinstated by U.S. Appeals Court

A U.S. Appeals Court today reinstated Patriots quarterback Tom Brady's four-game suspension over his role in Deflategate.

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Today, a United States Appeals Court sided with the NFL and reinstated the four-game suspension of Patriots quarterback Tom Brady over his actions in the Deflategate mess from last year.

Basically, the Court's ruling was simply about NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell's authority in disciplining Brady for his actions in accordance with the Collective Bargaining Agreement, which the NFL Players Association agreed to.  The Court (rightly and as expected) found that Goodell does in fact have the authority to hand out discipline like the suspension given to Brady.  Brady's camp (as well as Patriots fans) will continue to maintain the quarterback's innocence, and there's no denying the fact that the NFL screwed the investigation up just as much as whatever it was the Patriots actually did.  With that said, however, the league's initial four-game suspension of Brady was found by the U.S. Appeals Court to be within the authority and jurisdiction of the NFL Commissioner, which is why the suspension was reinstated.

There's likely still a lot more coming in this Deflategate saga, but there's no doubt that this is a huge blow to Tom Brady's camp.  If the suspension holds, the quarterback will miss the first four games of the 2016 season: at the Arizona Cardinals, vs. the Miami Dolphins, vs. the Houston Texans, and vs. the Buffalo Bills.  Many people remarked at the time of the schedule that the NFL gave the Patriots an easier first month, with three home games and only one very tough game (against the Cardinals).  Certainly, all of those games would have been tough regardless and will be even tougher without Brady, but it's not as if a Brady suspension will sink the Patriots' season.

We will have more on this story as it continues to develop, but for now, Tom Brady's four-game suspension is back on.