It’s still unclear whether Judge Richard M. Berman’s decision to make attendance at Wednesday’s settlement conference in the Tom Brady suspension litigation non-mandatory for Brady and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell was a test. If it was a test, Brady passed it.
It’s now unclear whether Goodell will pass the test, if it was a test. The NFL has declined comment on who will be attending the hearing.
As we surmised last week, Judge Berman possibly made attendance voluntary in order to see who truly cares about getting the case settled — and who is just going through the motions in advance of a ruling on whether the suspension will be upheld, scrapped, or vacated for further proceedings. With Brady choosing to skip practice against the Saints both Tuesday and Wednesday in order to attend the hearing in court, it’s clear that he’s taking it seriously. Or at least that he’s trying to create the impression that he is.
If the league wants to create the impression that it’s taking the process seriously, Goodell needs to make the much shorter trip from his office in Manhattan to the federal courthouse in Manhattan.