Tom Brady's request for rehearing denied, only option left is Supreme Court

Tom Brady's request for an rehearing before a full panel of judges was denied by the Second Circuit on Tuesday morning, meaning the Patriots quarterback is increasingly likely to miss the first four games of the 2016 season.

His only recourse remaining is through the United States Supreme Court.

The denial came in the form of a simple Order filed by the Second Circuit and read as following:

Appellees, National Football League Players Association and Tom Brady, filed a petition for panel rehearing, or, in the alternative, for rehearing en banc. The panel that determined the appeal has considered the request for panel rehearing, and the active members of the Court have considered the request for rehearing en banc.

IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that the petition is denied.

Back in April, Brady's four-game suspension was reinstated by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, with the case being heard in front of a limited panel of judges.

Two ruled in favor of the NFL, while one judge strongly dissented against Roger Goodell's decision to suspend Brady.

The Patriots quarterback appealed for an en banc hearing -- such a hearing would take place in front of the same court but with a full panel of judges and serve as an extra layer for appealing -- but was denied. It is not unusual for the Second Circuit to deny such requests.

Some good news for Brady: he'll save a little bit of money, thanks to his decision to rework his contract this offseason. He won't have to give up nearly as much money if he serves the four-game suspension as he would have under his previous contract.

From a football standpoint, the Patriots will face an uphill battle in the first four weeks of the season. They'll put Jimmy Garrapolo under center at the Cardinals (Week 1), home against the Dolphins (Week 2), home against the Texans (Week 3) and home against the Bills (Week 4).

The Pats had success the last time Brady missed time with an ACL back in 2008, winning 11 games with Matt Cassel under center, although they missed the playoffs.

It's certainly not the same situation, and it's certainly possible Brady and the NFLPA push the envelope by appealing to the Supreme Court. If they do, and it takes a substantial amount of time for the country's highest court to hear the decision, it's possible Brady could receive a stay of the suspension.

Given the current timeline -- Brady has 90 days to file an appeal -- it would be possible for Brady to get a stay of his suspension while filing the appeal. It's also possible the Supreme Court acts quickly because it believes this case is not worthy of the highest court in the land.

So there is no absolute clarity, but it is becoming increasingly likely Tom Brady will serve his four-game suspension.

CBS Sports Senior Writer

Will Brinson joined CBS Sports in 2010 and enters his seventh season covering the NFL for CBS. He previously wrote for FanHouse along with myriad other Internet sites. A North Carolina native who lives... Full Bio

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