Tags: brady | suspension | union | settlement

Judge Urges NFL, Union to Try for Settlement in Brady Suspension

Image: Judge Urges NFL, Union to Try for Settlement in Brady Suspension
Tom Brady (Mary Altaffer/AP)

Wednesday, 19 Aug 2015 11:43 AM

A federal judge on Wednesday urged the National Football League and its players union to continue discussing a possible settlement to resolve their dispute over New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady's four-game "Deflategate" suspension.

U.S. District Judge Richard Berman, sitting in Manhattan, said both sides had enough "strengths and weaknesses" to their cases that they should come together to resolve their dispute rather than asking him to rule.

"A settlement is a logical and rational option," Berman said.

The judge said he would meet privately with the lawyers about a settlement later on Wednesday. Berman also scheduled an Aug. 31 hearing and directed both Brady and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to attend.

Berman's remarks came at the outset of a hearing over whether the judge should confirm or vacate Goodell's July 28 decision confirming Brady's suspension.

Since the NFL filed a lawsuit seeking his confirmation last month, Berman has repeatedly encouraged both sides to settle. But despite the personal participation over the last week of both Brady and Goodell in settlement talks, no deal has emerged.

The parties have asked Berman to rule by Sept. 4, six days before New England's 16-game season begins in a nationally televised game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Brady was suspended for four games over his alleged role in a scheme to deflate footballs in the Patriots' 45-7 victory over the Indianapolis Colts in a January playoff game.

Ted Wells, a lawyer hired by the NFL to probe how the footballs were inflated below league standards, placed the blame on two Patriots employees but said Brady was "at least generally aware" of what happened.

An underinflated football can be easier to grip for a quarterback, particularly in raw outdoor conditions like January's American Football Conference title game outside of Boston.

The Patriots' victory in that game allowed the team to advance to the Super Bowl, where they beat the Seattle Seahawks 28-24.

The National Football Players Association contends Goodell was not an impartial arbiter because he had praised Wells' work before the appeal, while the league said Goodell was authorized to conduct the hearing under its labor agreement.

If the suspension remains in place, Brady would not return until Oct. 18 when the Patriots visit the Colts.

© 2017 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

 
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A federal judge on Wednesday urged the National Football League and its players union to continue discussing a possible settlement to resolve their dispute over New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady's four-game Deflategate suspension. U.S. District Judge Richard...
brady, suspension, union, settlement
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2015-43-19
Wednesday, 19 Aug 2015 11:43 AM
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