NEW YORK — The NFL, Tom Brady and the NFL Players Association failed Monday to reach a settlement concerning Brady’s four-game suspension. However, a ruling is coming soon.
On Monday, with Brady and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell in court, U.S. District Court Judge Richard Berman said he will make his ruling on the case on Tuesday or Wednesday and that he fully expects to meet the Friday deadline for a decision on the scandal known as “Deflategate.”
But once a decision by Berman has been reached, the legal battle between the two sides still might not be done. Berman’s decision can be appealed, and it’s expected that the losing side will do so. The appeal would be filed with the 2nd Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals. Either side could seek a stay of Berman’s decision.
Berman had been urging the sides to settle. He previously had said he would try to make his ruling by Friday, six days before the New England Patriots’ first regular-season game, which is against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass., on Sept. 10.
The “deflategate” controversy started when the New England Patriots were accused of using underinflated footballs to gain a competitive advantage in the Patriots’ AFC Championship Gane victory over the Indianapolis Colts on Jan. 18.
The NFL punished Brady with a four-game suspension. Brady has denied involvement and appealed that decision. Goodell upheld the suspension, and both the NFL and NFLPA filed to have the suspension ruled in federal court.
After Monday’s settlement conference, Jay Feely, a member of the NFL Players Association Executive Committee, made a brief statement to the media.
“We want to thank the court,” Feely said. “We tried our best to reach a settlement, which we did not reach, but I think for us it reinforces the desire and the need for an independent arbitrator in these matters of personal conduct.
“But we understand Tom’s position, and I think the process will work itself out.”