Lawyers for NFL, players union in court again to talk 'Deflategate' deal

Thu Aug 13, 2015 1:21pm EDT
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By Nate Raymond and Joseph Ax

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Lawyers for the National Football League and its players union returned to federal court on Thursday to discuss a potential settlement of litigation over New England Patriots star quarterback Tom Brady's "Deflategate" suspension.

The two sides met privately in New York with U.S. District Judge Richard Berman, who has pressed both parties to seek a resolution before the Patriots' season begins on Sept. 10, according to court records.

Brady and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, who imposed the four-game suspension, were not at the conference, the records show.

Both men had attended lengthy settlement discussions a day earlier following a court hearing before Berman, who lobbed tough questions at a lawyer for the league.

While no deal was reached Thursday, Berman directed the parties to continue having discussions among themselves or before a federal magistrate judge.

Unless a deal is reached, both sides are scheduled to appear before Berman again on Wednesday for oral arguments on whether he should uphold or vacate the suspension.

Both the National Football Players Association and the NFL declined to comment on the settlement talks.

Brady was suspended for four games over his alleged role in a scheme to deflate footballs in the Patriots' 45-7 victory over the Indianapolis Colts in a January playoff game. Goodell confirmed Brady's suspension on July 28.   Continued...

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady exits the Manhattan Federal Courthouse in New York August 12, 2015.  REUTERS/Brendan McDermid