Tom Brady could still manage to play for the Patriots in Week 1 if things break his way legally.

There are two legal outcomes that would put the Pats quarterback, who had his four-game Deflategate suspension reinstated by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in April, back on the field.

First of all, there's a rehearing of his appeal by the Second Circuit. When Brady's case was originally heard, an entire panel of judges weren't present.

Brady's legal counsel recently filed for a 14-day extension to petition for a re-hearing -- his current deadline for filing the deadline is May 23.

Getting the court to agree to a re-hearing is a pretty unlikely outcome, just like a settlement. (But there is a new lawyer involved who might help Brady's situation.)

There is another option, as outlined by Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk:

First, Brady would ask the Second Circuit for a stay of the suspension while an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court is prepared and pursued. If that request is denied, Brady would present the question of whether the suspension will be stayed not to the full U.S. Supreme Court but to the lone Supreme Court justice assigned to the Second Circuit.

Currently, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has the Second Circuit assignment. Which on the surface is good news for Brady, given that Justice Ginsburg was appointed to the Supreme Court by a Democratic president and has been part of the liberal/progressive voting block on the Court since joining it in 1993.

There's no telling whether a) the Supreme Court would even agree to hear the case, or b) whether Ginsburg would actually lean in his direction when making a ruling on a possible stay.

However it could play out similarly to Brady's situation in the summer of 2015 (just a single year ago!) when he managed to acquire a stay of the case and play the beginning of 2015.

While a potential stay would mean Deflategate will continue to live on for even longer, it would also mean Brady could play the beginning of the season with the Patriots and, in all likelihood, the entire season with team.

Tom Brady could manage to play Week 1 if things break his way legally. USATSI