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Tom Brady suspension appeal could depend on Adrian Peterson

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The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit announced Monday that the four-game suspension of Tom Brady for the "Deflategate" scandal was being reinstated. Brady's ability to appeal the ruling could come down to Adrian Peterson.

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The NFL's suspension of Tom Brady for the first four-games of the 2015 season for his role in the "Deflategate" scandal was re-instated on Monday, a move that will mean Brady will miss the first-four games of the 2016 season. A lot of focus has been on Brady's next moves, which could be to re-appeal the suspension back before the same panel from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit that just reinstated the ban, or he could ask for an appeal before the entire 22-judge Court of Appeal (an en banc appeal, and one that rarely is heard). There has been news that Brady's recent contract restructuring actually will help him, monetarily, if he has to serve the suspension, where instead of losing about $2 million in game-day checks, he would now only lose about $200,000. There is one aspect of the future of Brady's appeal that has not received much coverage yet, though.

That is the Adrian Peterson aspect.

The Minnesota Vikings' running back has a similar lawsuit working its way through the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit. Peterson's case stems from his suspension after being indicted on child abuse charges in Texas. Peterson missed the final 15 weeks of the 2014 season before being reinstated by the league for the 2015 season. The charges were reduced to a count of misdemeanor reckless assault, to which Peterson entered a no-contest plea.The suspension was ultimately overturned by a federal judge when it was deemed an overreach by the league. The league appealed that decision, which is the case working in the Eighth Circuit.

As SB Nation's Daily Norseman pointed out on Monday, the two similar cases could lead to a Circuit Split, a situation where two appellate courts issue conflicting rulings on similar cases. It is situations where a Circuit Split occurs that most often leads to a U.S. Supreme Court ruling on a situation.

Brady's appeal back to the Second Circuit panel would not appear to be a likely avenue for him to avoid the suspension. He could, however, find relief if the Eighth Circuit finds in favor of Peterson. If the Supreme Court were to then hear both cases, they could decide in the players' favor, or they could decide for the league, looking to make one precedence out of the two cases. How long would that take? It might not be quick enough to keep Brady from missing games this season, but it could clear his name and give him back his money sometime down the road.

Whatever Brady decides to do, his ability to get a reversal of Monday's ruling could hinge on Adrian Peterson.