Tom Brady gave the NFL Players Association permission to proceed with the appeal of his suspension for his role in the Deflategate scandal, despite announcing that he would accept the four-game ban.
The New England Patriots quarterback wrote on his Facebook page last Friday that he "made the difficult decision to no longer proceed with the legal process" after his appeal to the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals was denied Wednesday.
However, Brady has given the NFLPA the go-ahead to bring the case to the Supreme Court, according to Mike Florio in this week's Monday Morning Quarterback column on Sports Illustrated's website.
"The reality is that Brady has (per a source with knowledge of the situation) authorized the NFLPA to proceed with the appeal on his behalf," Florio wrote while filling in for the vacationing Peter King.
Brady will still serve his suspension, which was handed down by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell on May 11, 2015, for his general knowledge of the Patriots' actions to deflate footballs during the 2014 AFC Championship Game against the Indianapolis Colts.
If the NFLPA's appeal to the Supreme Court is successful, Brady could regain the $253,000 he is set to lose while sitting out the first month of the season. More important, such a ruling could reduce the commissioner's disciplinary power.
Brady's legal team includes Ted Olson, a 75-year-old former U.S. Solicitor General under President George W. Bush who has argued 62 times in front of the Supreme Court. Olson was hired to Brady's team in late April.
The suspension was initially overturned by Judge Richard Berman of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York on Sept. 3, 2015, only to be reinstated by the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals on April 25.
Brady is due to miss New England's opener in Arizona against the Cardinals, then home games against the Miami Dolphins, Houston Texans and Buffalo Bills. He would be eligible to return Oct. 9 on the road against the Cleveland Browns.
Jimmy Garoppolo is expected to start for the Patriots in place of Brady.