Monday’s ruling from the U.S. Court of Appeals to reinstate New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady's suspension doesn’t come as a surprise after what unfolded during the March 3 hearing. That wasn’t a good day for Brady, which set the stage for this ruling.
A Patriots spokesman said the team will not have a comment on the ruling. Meanwhile, the NFL Players Association said in a statement:
"The NFLPA is disappointed in the decision by the Second Circuit. We fought Roger Goodell’s suspension of Tom Brady because we know he did not serve as a fair arbitrator and that players' rights were violated under our collective bargaining agreement.
"Our Union will carefully review the decision, consider all of our options and continue to fight for players’ rights and for the integrity of the game."
For now, here’s the outlook:
The Patriots open the season on a Sunday night against the Arizona Cardinals, which at this time means third-year quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo will be under center. Garoppolo, the 2014 second-round draft choice out of Eastern Illinois, hasn’t started a regular-season game, but got a good feel for what life might be like in the hot seat last preseason when Brady’s status to open 2015 was still uncertain.
The club doesn’t have a third quarterback on its roster at this time, and perhaps this leads the Patriots to consider veteran Brian Hoyer, who was released by the Texans last week and spent the 2009-2011 seasons in New England.