The NFL and NFL Players Association have done plenty of talking in the past week about a potential settlement of the litigation arising from the Tom Brady suspension. But they’ve made no progress.
Per a source with knowledge of the situation, the league continues to insist that Brady and the NFL Players Association agree to a laundry list of concessions regarding the Ted Wells report and the NFL’s authority to suspend Brady and other players for conduct detrimental to the league and obstructing a league investigation. And Brady and the NFLPA continue to refuse to agree to those terms.
It’s unknown whether the two sides could work out a deal based on a reduced suspension because the NFL won’t even consider shrinking the suspension until Brady and the NFLPA agree to the threshold demands.
In a deadline-driven business, none of this means the NFL will refuse to relent on Wednesday, when the two sides return to court for a settlement conference and additional oral argument regarding the merits of the pending lawsuit challenging the suspension as Judge Richard M. Berman prepares to bang the gavel and issue a ruling. But with Brady deciding to attend and then changing his mind, it doesn’t look good.
Absent a settlement, a ruling from Judge Berman won’t end the case. If it’s a clear win for one side, it’ll be a clear loss for the other — and then an appeal to a higher court. Judge Berman also could decide to fashion a lose-lose ruling that forces the two parties to re-do the appeal hearing.