For the time being, Tom Brady's four-game NFL suspension stands.
After weeks of silence, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, located in New York City, ruled Wednesday morning to deny Tom Brady's petition to rehear his case.
Brady's legal team filed the appeal on May 23, shortly after a three-judge panel overturned a lower court ruling that lifted Brady's punishment for his alleged involvement in the so-called "Deflategate" saga.
As a result, New England's franchise quarterback still faces the prospect of not being able to play the first four games of this season.
However, Brady and his lawyers still have one last card to play. According to legal analysts, Team Brady can take their appeal to the land's highest court, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS in news parlance) in Washington, D.C. If they choose this final option, they would have to ask for a stay of Brady's suspension – in other words, delaying it until an appeal is either heard or rejected by SCOTUS.
Here's how it appears the next steps would unfold:
First, the request for a stay would have to be submitted within the next week to the Second Circuit, which could either approve or deny it. If the latter occurs, Brady's lawyers would then ask Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who has jurisdiction over the Second Circuit, to approve a stay while the legal team prepares its appeal to SCOTUS.
Some experts believe Ginsburg would be sympathetic to such a stay request because of her history of supporting labor-related causes. Many experts also believe that Brady's recent hiring of attorney Ted Olson, who has extensive experience arguing before the Supreme Court, is a virtual guarantee that TB12 will pursue the matter until all options are exhausted.
For now, though, it seems we have seven days (or less) before we know what Brady decides to do next.