What's next for Tom Brady? Some have suggested that a settlement between the Patriots quarterback and the league could be in play. While that seems unlikely at first blush, a settlement could benefit both sides in some respects.
For Brady, a reduction in his four-game suspension would obviously be welcome, but it would come with the caveat that he not appeal the Second Circuit decision. The NFL would benefit from a settlement in that if it can avoid going through another appeals process, it would eliminate the chances of the Second Circuit's decision being overturned, thereby threatening the power issued to commissioner Roger Goodell.
In the long run, the risk of holding fast to Brady's four-game suspension and potentially losing an appeal might not be worth it to the NFL. The Second Circuit's decision handed down on Monday was so favorable to the league and the power of the commissioner that the idea of taking a settlement, giving Brady a reduced suspension and avoiding further litigation might be the prefered course of action.
All that said, it sounded as though Brady's camp wasn't all that interested in a settlement as of late Monday afternoon. One of Brady's attorney's, Jeffrey Kessler, joined ESPN's Russillo and Kannell Show and briefly discussed the possibility of a settlement. (Emphasis on the word "brief.")
"I'm not going to comment on that," Kessler said. "This case could have been settled a long time ago if the NFL was willing to be reasonable."
While Kessler seemed less than interested in a settlement, he did not commit to an appeal either.
"We're looking at all the options now," Kessler said. "There's nothing to announce at this point except that this union always protects the rights of its players. That's what we've done in all these cases. We will now consider with Tom Brady and the union what other options there are to protect his rights."
The NFLPA released a statement earlier in the day on Monday, voicing its opinion that Goodell was an unfair arbitrator. Kessler used the opportunity on ESPN Radio to take a similar stand.
"We think this decision, as the dissent wrote, violated the CBA and basic bargain that the union made with the owners," Kessler said. "That has always been the union's opinion in this case."