In an unexpected move, Tom Brady ended his fight against a four-game suspension and will accept his punishment for a game in January 2015.
Most expected Brady to ask the United States Supreme Court to grant him a stay on his four-game suspension after the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals, which reinstated Brady's suspension this spring and subsequently refused to rehear the case, recently rejected his request.
"It has been a challenging 18 months and I have made the difficult decision to no longer proceed with the legal process," Brady wrote 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."
Brady had until Oct. 13 to file an appeal with the Supreme Court and was expected to appeal to Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg for a stay that would have allowed him to begin the season for the Patriots; however, he has announced he will not pursue that path.
Ever since adding former U.S. Solicitor General Ted Olson to his all-star legal team earlier this year, it was expected that Brady intended to exhaust all of his legal options. The NFLPA issued a statement after Brady's announcement, saying that they will not seek a stay of the suspension with the 2nd Circuit. But they did say that they reserve their rights to petition the Supreme Court.
In other words, it may not totally be over as far as the NFLPA is concerned. Brady has given things up on his end, but the NFLPA could still pursue the litigation as a challenge of Roger Goodell's power.
With the suspension now in place, Brady will miss the first four games of the season and the Patriots are expected to turn to Jimmy Garoppolo to take over starting duties until Brady is eligible to return on Oct. 9 against the Cleveland Browns. Garoppolo will face the Arizona Cardinals, Miami Dolphins, Houston Texans and Buffalo Bills in the first four weeks of the regular season.