The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit has rejected the request made by Tom Brady for an en banc rehearing of the appeal of the four-game suspension handed down for his role in the "Deflategate" controversy from the 2014 AFC Championship Game. This decision means that it is likely that Brady will serve the suspension to start the 2016 season.
This decision is not surprising. From 2000-2010, the Second Circuit only eight of more than 27,000 decisions were granted en banc appeals. Brady's only hope now is to make an appeal to the Supreme Court but considering the ruling of the Second Circuit this morning, that seems as unlikely as completing a 100-yard Hail Mary on the last play of the game to win the Super Bowl.
While Brady is serving his suspension, he will likely be replaced by third-year quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo in games at Arizona and at home against Houston, Miami, and Buffalo.
There will be a lot of pressure on Garoppolo but with weapons like Rob Gronkowski and Julian Edelman, a Super Bowl caliber defense, and a coach named Bill Belichick (who has figured out things without Brady before), the Patriots should be in good shape when the suspension ends.
This is still a Super Bowl contender and the idea of a pissed off Brady returning for the last 12 games and then the playoffs with a vendetta against the NFL should comfort Patriots fans that see this as a "sky is falling" decision.