New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady will appear at a court-ordered settlement hearing Aug. 12 in New York City in an ongoing quest to reduce his four-game suspension, reports ESPN.com’s Dan Graziano.
Judge Richard Berman of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York ordered Brady and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell to appear at the hearing in efforts to reach a settlement in Brady’s suspension. The Patriots open their preseason schedule the following day against the Green Bay Packers.
According to the report, Berman is expected to rule soon on if the parties can submit documents under seal or whether the documents could be made public. Those documents include a transcript of Brady's 10-hour appeal hearing with Goodell in June.
Goodell upheld Brady’s appeal of his four-game suspension for his alleged role in using underinflated footballs AFC championship game victory over the Indianapolis Colts in January.
The ruling cited Brady being uncooperative during the independent investigation led by Ted Wells and the destruction of Brady’s cell phone that potentially contained as many as 10,000 text messages that could have been used in the investigation.
The NFL Players Association called the cell phone claim “a brand new, hyperbolic and baseless accusation” and filed a lawsuit in Minnesota last week, which claimed there was no direct evidence in the Wells report linking Brady to deflated footballs and that the discipline was based on a standard to “justify such absurd and unprecedented punishment.”
That lawsuit was transferred to New York City where the NFL asked a federal court to uphold and confirm Brady’s suspension.
The union says that Brady’s punishment “defies the 'law of the shop' and thus the essence of the parties' collective bargaining agreement.”
The league and the players union also asked a judge in a joint letter to resolve their dispute over Brady's suspension by Sept. 4, which is six days before the Patriots' opener against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
- Scooby Axson