So why did Patriots quarterback Tom Brady decide not to seek a stay of his suspension pending an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court? The reasoning was simple: He chose to miss the first four games instead of potentially being forced to miss four games at some later point in the season.
If Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg had granted a stay of the suspension, the stay would have expired the moment the Supreme Court decided not to take the appeal. And if that had happened at any point before the end of the team’s season, Brady would have been yanked off the field for four games at that moment.
So Brady, as a source with knowledge of the situation explained it to PFT, specifically opted to take the four-game suspension to start the season — an approach that coach Bill Belichick surely preferred. This way, Jimmy Garoppolo can be prepared to handle the first 25 percent of the season, which also happens to be the portion of the season when offensive lines are working out the kinks that come from reduced offseason and training camp practice time.
Of course, there’s a chance Brady’s suspension ultimately would have been overturned. Brady wasn’t willing to take that slim chance, given the very strong likelihood that he would have been suspended four games at some point during the season, with one or more of those games possibly landing in the postseason.