The latest round of hearings between the NFL and NFLPA on Tom Brady and the Deflategate case concluded Wednesday with no settlement.
The hearing lasted around two hours and 15 minutes, and U.S. District Judge Richard Berman was “very, very” critical of the NFL, Ben Volin of the Boston Globe reported. NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith was in attendance along with Brady's agent, Don Yee, and lawyer Jeffrey Kessler, while Brady and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell were not.
Berman continued to push for a settlement, and questioned the NFL's case heavily, discussing “fundamental fairness and evident impartiality,” according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. Berman criticized Goodell's comparison of ball deflation to steroid use in football, and took issue with the language of the Wells Report and the appeal process.
Brady and Goodell will be required to attend the next hearing, which is scheduled for Monday, Aug. 31. Berman is expected to hand down an order by Sept. 4 if no settlement has been reached by then.
Reports emerged Wednesday that Brady will only accept a suspension if he does not have to admit guilt to the findings of the Wells Report. Brady will reportedly only do so if he is suspended on the basis of failure to cooperate with investigator Ted Wells. In the decision to uphold Brady's four-game suspension, Goodell alleged that Brady obstructed the investigation by destroying his cell phone and text message history, which erased potentially relevant evidence to the case.
- Jeremy Woo