Tom Brady's suspension will reportedly begin Saturday, Sept. 5 if no settlement has been reached nor a ruling handed down on his case.
ESPN's Sal Paolantonio first reported the news. Sept. 5 is the day NFL teams are required to cut down their rosters to 53 players maximum by 4 p.m. ET.
U.S. District Court Judge Richard Berman, who has been presiding over the hearings regarding Brady's upheld four-game suspension from NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, said Wednesday that he hopes to have a ruling by Sept. 4 if the NFL and NFLPA are unable to reach a settlement. Both the NFL and NFLPA have reportedly asked Berman to rule by that date, which comes six days prior to New England's season-opener against Pittsburgh.
The latest round of hearings between the two sides over Brady's suspension, levied for his alleged role in the Deflategate scandal in last season's AFC Championship Game, concluded Wednesday with no settlement. Berman was reportedly “very, very” critical of the NFL. Brady and Goodell were not in attendance. 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.
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