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Settlement talks have occurred in Brady case


When a suspended player exercises his appeal rights, a settlement is always possible. In the case of Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and his four-game suspension for doing whatever he did in relation to the #DeflateGate controversy, a league source tells PFT that settlement discussions have indeed occurred.

To date, no progress has been made toward a deal. While it remains possible that something could be worked out, it would be unexpected.

Per the source, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is being pushed by a small handful of influential owners to hold firm on the four-game suspension. Working against that pressure, however, is the fear that the four-game suspension would be wiped out by a federal court.

Attorney Gregg Levy, who was one of the finalists for the job Goodell received in 2006, participated in the Brady appeal hearing as a legal consultant to the Commissioner. It’s believed that Levy has been warning Goodell that it will be difficult to make a suspension stick in court, even under the heightened standard that applies to challenging the outcome of a private arbitration agreement.

So while there’s still no good way out of this mess for Goodell, the safest course for him personally would be to hold firm and to force a court to reduce the suspension -- since Goodell suffers little or no P.R. consequence when one of his disciplinary decisions is reduced or wiped out by someone else.