Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is open to accepting some form of suspension, but only if it can be for failing to cooperate with the NFL rather than admitting to the Wells report findings, league sources told Adam Schefter of ESPN on Wednesday.
Even with those parameters, however, league sources said Wednesday that settlement discussions on Brady’s attempt to overturn a four-game suspension have gone “nowhere.”
Brady, who had initially planned to attend Wednesday’s federal court hearing in New York for the second straight week, instead will join the Patriots for their joint practices with the New Orleans Saints in West Virginia.
Brady and Goodell were both present Tuesday in the meeting with U.S. Magistrate Judge James C. Francis, who is working with U.S. District Court Judge Richard M. Berman, a source told Schefter. The meeting was held at an undisclosed location instead of the federal courthouse in Manhattan in order to avoid media attention, sources told ESPN’s Sal Paolantonio.
Berman already has ruled that neither Brady nor Goodell must attend Wednesday’s hearing, which primarily is for verbal arguments of the legal briefs that both sides submitted Friday. The NFL is declining to identify who from the league will attend Wednesday’s hearing, a source said.
Berman repeatedly has instructed Brady, the NFL and the players’ union to attempt to reach a settlement and to tone down rhetoric in the case. Both Brady and Goodell appeared in Berman’s court last Wednesday, although little progress was made.