Deflategate judge tells NFL, players: Don't argue. Settle

Thu Jul 30, 2015 2:42pm EDT
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By Jonathan Stempel and Steve Ginsburg

NEW YORK/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Tom Brady's effort to void his four-game suspension was set back on Thursday as litigation embroiling the New England Patriots star quarterback was sent to a New York judge, who urged a speedy resolution to the "Deflategate" scandal.

U.S. District Judge Richard Berman in Manhattan ordered the National Football League and NFL Players Association to begin settlement talks "forthwith actively," and cool their public sniping.

"While this litigation is ongoing, it is appropriate (and helpful) for all counsel and all parties to this case to tone down their rhetoric," Berman wrote. "The earth is already sufficiently scorched."

The NFL and the union declined to comment.

Brady has been banned from playing in the first four regular season games over his alleged role in deflating footballs, making them easier to grip in cold weather, for the Jan. 18 game that put the Patriots in the 2015 Super Bowl, which it won.

Within minutes after NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell upheld the suspension, the league on Tuesday filed papers in New York to confirm it, only to have the NFLPA on Wednesday file a lawsuit in Minnesota challenging Goodell's authority.

The Minnesota court is considered friendly to unions, and in February voided an NFL suspension of Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson following his no-contest plea to hitting his son with a tree branch.

But U.S. District Judge Richard Kyle in St. Paul on Thursday found "no reason" to keep Brady's case in Minnesota.   Continued...

Jul 30, 2015; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) throws during training camp at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports