With the NFL and Tom Brady due in his courtroom Wednesday, Judge Richard Berman issued an order requesting that both sides engage in settlement discussions on Tuesday.
When a judge issues an order requesting something, it comes off a bit more strongly than most requests you encounter in day-to-day life. So it’s not surprising that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said Tuesday, via Tom Pelissero of USA Today, that the league is cooperating with Berman’s request.
Goodell said that there have been discussions with Brady’s camp and that the league will let the “process go from there.” Where it will go appears to be Wednesday’s settlement conference with Berman as Daniel Kaplan of Sports Business Journal reports, via a league source, that there is “no chance” of a settlement before the hearing.
As Mike Florio laid out on Monday, however, that hearing could lead to a settlement as Berman will have a better idea of where the two sides stand and could use that to ask questions that will give them an idea of which way he’d ultimately rule. For one side, that would likely make a settlement look more appealing if it offers them the chance to leave with something rather than nothing.