While a settlement between the NFL and Tom Brady seems unlikely -- OK, highly unlikely -- commissioner Roger Goodell told ESPN Radio on Friday that he would "of course" pick up the phone if the Patriots or their quarterback called to discuss an agreement.
Still, Goodell didn't say whether or not he would be open to knocking down Brady's four-game suspension that was reinstated by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals ruling from earlier this week.
"We had a lot of discussions last summer," Goodell said. "There were a lot of offers back and forth about what to do to settle the issue. They chose to pursue the issue and we chose to move forward and we are where we are."
There continue to be voices speaking out on how Goodell may wield too much power when it comes to player discipline, the latest of which being that of Saints quarterback Drew Brees. But Goodell defended his role, as he has most of this week, citing the importance of the "integrity of the game."
"I am not going to hand off the integrity of the NFL to somebody who does not understand our business," Goodell said. "That is what we're going to maintain when it comes to the integrity of the game. Maybe something as it relates to the drug program and whether proper protocol is followed? I get it. Go ahead. Somebody else can make that decision. But when it comes to integrity of the game, that is the commissioner's responsibilities and has been since the day the NFL was formed."