NEW YORK -- Quarterback Tom Bradys last best chance to avoid serving a four-game Deflategate suspension to start the new season was flatly rejected Wednesday by an appeals court.The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan issued a one-sentence rejection of requests by the National Football League Players Association and Tom Brady to reconsider an April decision that reinstated the suspension.We are disappointed, the players association said in a statement. The track record of this league office when it comes to matters of player discipline is bad for our business and bad for our game. We have a broken system that must be fixed.It added that it will review its options carefully.The NFL declined comment.The courts action left intact a 2-to-1 ruling by a three-judge panel that found NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell acted within his powers by upholding the suspension of the star quarterback for his role in a scheme to doctor footballs used in a January 2015 playoff game.The decision affirmed wide-ranging powers given to the commissioner by the NFLs collective bargaining agreement. It was a setback for organized labor groups arguing for due process in employee discipline.The players association and Brady had requested that the panel reconsider or that all the 2nd Circuit judges hear arguments and decide anew.Bradys remaining hope is to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.That is an extremely long shot, said Nellie Drew, a sports law professor at the University at Buffalo. She said the 2nd Circuit acted correctly and that any changes to how the NFL handles arbitrations over player issues will have to be handled at the negotiating table.She predicted Patriots backup quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo will be getting a whole lot of repetitions as the Patriots prepare for their season opener Sept. 11 at Arizona.Its time to put this thing to bed, Drew said. If it was my kid, Id say: `Let it go.Lawyers and other representatives for the Patriots and Brady did not immediately return messages seeking comment.If he misses four games, Brady will lose just under $250,000 in salary after renegotiating his contract in the offseason to earn only $1 million this season.Anthony Barkow, a lawyer who submitted an amicus brief on behalf of Kenneth R. Feinberg, the special master of the Sept. 11 Victim Compensation Fund and a longtime arbitrator, said: We wish the result were otherwise, but respect and understand the decision and know that it is extremely rare for the 2nd Circuit to grant en banc review.What began as an accusation of cheating in the 2015 AFC championship game has grown into a multimillion-dollar legal battle over three NFL seasons, involving not just an MVP quarterback but also some of the nations elite lawyers and scientists.And as it developed, it evolved from a silly little dispute about the air pressure in footballs into a referendum on the powers of a sports commissioner and the right of all unionized employees to due process in a disciplinary hearing.Joining the case along the way were longtime league adversary Jeffrey Kessler and former U.S. Solicitor General Ted Olson, who was involved in the Bush v. Gore lawsuit that settled the 2000 presidential election and the case that overturned Californias ban on same-sex marriages.At stake for the Patriots was not only the availability of their quarterback for a quarter of the season, but their legacy as an NFL dynasty. Already punished by Goodell for an illegal videotaping scheme in 2007 that predictably came to be known as SpyGate, the Patriots saw the suspension as an attack on their legitimacy after Brady and coach Bill Belichick led them to four Super Bowl championships.Suspicions that the Patriots were cheating arose again on Jan. 18, 2015 when the league tested -- somewhat unscientifically it would belatedly learn -- the footballs provided by the home team for the AFC title game against the Indianapolis Colts and found them to be underinflated.After three months, league investigator Ted Wells concluded the Patriots intentionally used underinflated footballs in the game and that Brady was at least generally aware of the scheme. The NFL suspended the four-time Super Bowl champion quarterback four games and docked the team $1 million and two draft picks.Brady appealed -- first within the league, and Goodell affirmed the decision. After both sides went to federal court, U.S. District Judge Richard Berman overturned the suspension. The league appealed to the 2nd Circuit, and the court reinstated the original penalty.That left Brady hoping for a new hearing in front of the complete circuit -- called en banc -- or an even more unlikely hearing at the Supreme Court.Thats always an option to litigants, Olson said after joining the case. It is not something we have resolved ourselves to doing.New England fans rallied behind their quarterback, putting Free Brady on T-shirts, reciting the Ideal Gas Law from memory and giving a heros welcome not only to the quarterback when he took the field for the 2015 regular season opener but also to Kessler and Berman.In other NFL cities, fans were just as convinced that the Patriots and Belichick were up to no good. Added to the videotaping penalty -- along with Belichicks tendency to stretch the rules to their limits, or occasionally beyond -- it was seen as confirmation that the team cant win without cheating.The courts decision is unlikely to change minds on either side.---AP sports writer Jimmy Golen in Boston reported from Boston. AP football writer Barry Wilner in New York and AP sports writer Kyle Hightower in Boston also contributed to this report.---AP NFL websites: http://pro32.ap.org and http://twitter.com/AP-NFL http://www.officiallionsgear.com/Lions-Nick-Bellore-Draft-Jersey/ .com) - The Edmonton Oilers and Vancouver Canucks both take aim at their first wins of the season on Saturday, as the Canucks open their home slate at Rogers Arena. http://www.officiallionsgear.com/Lions-Barry-Sanders-Draft-Jersey/ . Perez, 35, posted a 1-2 record with a 3.69 earned-run average in 19 relief appearances last season. His season ended Aug. 9 due to a torn ligament in his left elbow. Perez joins infielder Andy LaRoche and catcher Mike Nickeas with minor-league agreements for 2014 that include invitations to attend spring training. http://www.officiallionsgear.com/Lions-Calvin-Johnson-Draft-Jersey/ . Rob Manfred, baseballs chief operating officer, testified last week during the grievance filed by the players union to overturn Rodriguezs 211-game suspension. A person familiar with the hearing, speaking on condition of anonymity, told The Associated Press on Saturday that Manfred testified the sport wasnt concerned whether Bosch distributed performance-enhancing drugs to minors because MLBs interest was his relationship with players under investigation. http://www.officiallionsgear.com/Lions-Da-Shawn-Hand-Draft-Jersey/ . The Vikings announced Thursday that Priefer will be one of seven holdovers from the previous staff, along with offensive line coach Jeff Davidson, wide receivers coach George Stewart and others. Norv Turner will mark his 30th year of coaching in the NFL as the offensive co-ordinator, as widely reported for weeks, and George Edwards will be the defensive co-ordinator. http://www.officiallionsgear.com/Lions-Ashawn-Robinson-Draft-Jersey/ . It just didnt show when he hit the ice. Berra made 42 saves and Kris Russell scored at 1:32 of overtime, lifting the Calgary Flames to a 3-2 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks on Sunday night. New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz?was limited in his return to practice Sunday because his groin is still bothering him a bit, according to New York Giants coach Ben McAdoo.Cruz and rookie wide receiver Sterling Shepard were scheduled to test their tender groins during the individual portion of Sundays practice. Shepard fared well and was a full participant.The results werent as encouraging for Cruz after he partook in the individual period but sat out one-on-one drills and took less than a handful or reps during live team drills.Its still bothering him, McAdoo answered when asked if Cruz did what was planned. Well take a look at him [Monday]. Hell get treatment [Sunday night] and then well take a look at him [Monday] and see how hes feeling.Its another blow to Cruzs comeback attempt. He was hoping to return to practice this week without pain after missing the preseason opener. It has been 672 days since he last played in any sort of game.ddddddddddddCruz downplayed the injury last week, saying the tightness was something he experienced every summer. He insisted it would be fine.Cruz, 29, has missed most of the past two seasons with leg injuries. But the Giants insist theyre not going to treat him any differently than any of the players who were hurt in Fridays preseason opener against the Miami Dolphins.They remain hopeful Cruz can return to the field soon, get on the field for a preseason game and be a contributor this season.One thing you learn is you never say never in this business, McAdoo said. You never know when someone is going to turn the corner.Cruz tore the patellar tendon in his knee on Oct. 12, 2014. He missed all of last season with a calf injury. 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