Tom Brady's suspension will cost him only $235,000

Who is the NFL's top player in merchandise sales?
Who is the NFL's top player in merchandise sales?

A court just reinstated Tom Brady's four-game deflategate suspension, but it's not all bad news for the New England Patriots quarterback. That suspension will cost him a whole lot less this year than it would have in 2015.

That's because Brady took a big pay cut for the 2016 season, agreeing to a salary of just $1 million, according to data from That's down from his 2015 base salary of $8 million.

The result: A four-game suspension this year will only cost Brady about $235,000, whereas it would have cost him $1.9 million last year, when the NFL initially ordered Brady to be sidelined.

Related: Tom Brady is NFL's No. 1 player in merchandise sales

Brady spent months battling the NFL's claim that he knowingly played with deflated footballs during the AFC Championship game in January 2015, but a federal appeals court ruled in the league's favor on Monday.

Even though Brady's salary was drastically reduced in 2016, he didn't actually take a pay cut, since he also got a huge, $13 million signing bonus for the year.

And signing bonuses are paid out to players regardless of how many games they play. In other words, the bulk of Tom Brady's compensation is protected from the NFL suspension and fine.

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Brady will take his suspension during the upcoming season, unless he decides to appeal the opinion to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The NFL Players Association has argued in federal court that the NFL should not be permitted to unilaterally make decisions that affect players' compensation.

"We fought [NFL Commissioner] Roger Goodell's suspension of Tom Brady because we know he did not serve as a fair arbitrator and that players' rights were violated under our collective bargaining agreement," the union said in a statement Monday. "[We] will carefully review the decision, consider all of our options and continue to fight for players' rights and for the integrity of the game."

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