The NFL and New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady have discussed a settlement regarding his four-game suspension, according to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk. Per the report, no progress has been made toward a settlement that would satisfy both parties, but it remains possible.
There is a "small handful of influential owners" pushing Goodell to hold firm and maintain the four-game suspension, according to the report. What's working against that force is, of course, the threat of a federal court case. Brady reportedly has a good chance of combating the suspension in court, and while the league wouldn't like that, it would be able to claim that it held its hard stance.
The NFL Players Association has submitted a formal settlement offer for the NFL, but the offer has been met with "silence" from the league, according to Dan Graziano of ESPN. It's likely that settlement offer eliminates the full suspension, with Brady instead accepting a fine, according to the report.
A settlement would certainly be a weird ending to all of this, especially after weeks of reports teasing that an appeal decision was imminent. Roger Goodell likely doesn't want to cheapen the NFL's stance on disciplinary matters like DeflateGate, and Brady has to like his chances if proceedings go to federal court. The league likely wouldn't be satisfied in a reduced suspension and Brady's team doesn't want a suspension of any length.
At the moment, the league and Goodell don't appear to be in a favorable position. If Brady's suspension isn't overturned, a lot of things can happen, and most of them seem to favor Brady. The NFLPA has certainly not backed down from the league.
"I hope they do the right thing, I hope they exonerate Tom and overturn his suspension," NFLPA president Eric Winston said, via Pro Football Talk. "But if they don't we're prepared to take the next step, whatever that next step might be."
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