There was some news out of Manhattan Monday as Tom Brady and Roger Goodell met with judge Richard Berman in a Manhattan courtroom: No settlement.
About four minutes into the public portion of today’s conference, Berman announced that there will not be a settlement in Brady’s appeal of his four-game suspension imposed by Goodell.
In announcing that there would be no settlement, Berman said that some cases are simply not able to be settled.
“We did not reach a settlement,’’ Berman said. “The parties tried quite hard, I think.’’
Berman said he had “no qualms’’ about the willingness of both sides to try to reach a settlement in the controversy and thanked both parties for their dedication to attempting to reach a resolution.
Berman said he would rule as early as Tuesday or at the latest by September 4. That would give Brady enough time to prepare for the Patriots season opener against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Foxborough on September 10 if Berman rules in his favor.
“It won’t be today, but hopefully tomorrow or the day after,’’ Berman said of today’s written ruling which concludes the public portion of the case.
Former NFL kicker Jay Feeley — a member of the executive committee for the union — was in attendance today, while New York Giants owner John Mara was part of the NFL team hoping to reach a compromise.
“We want to thank the court,’’ Feely said after the hearing. “We tried our best to reach a settlement which we did not reach but for us it reinforces the desire and the need for an independent arbitrator in these matters of personal conduct but we understand Tom’s position and I think the process will work itself out.’’
The NFL had previously turned down Berman’s request to have Mara in the settlement talks in hopes of brokering a last-minute settlement.
Brady and Goodell arrived separately about an hour and a half before they were scheduled to appear before Berman in the courtroom. Neither Brady nor Goodell spoke at today’s hearing.
NFLPA attorney Jeff Kessler just told me, "I trust the court will give us a just result."— Gary Myers (@garymyersNYDN) August 31, 2015
The judge ordered both to show up for a final conference before he rules on whether Brady must serve a four-game suspension for his role in using underinflated footballs during the AFC Championship game last season. The NFL wants Berman to agree it handled the case appropriately while the NFL Players Association wants the suspension nullified.
Berman has said a settlement would be “rational and logical’’ but also cited weaknesses in the way the NFL handled the controversy. The judge has also suggested that the league’s finding was too vague, that Brady was generally aware that game balls were being deflated.
At a court hearing this month, Berman told the NFL there was precedent for judges to toss out penalties issued by arbitrators.
If Berman rules against Brady, the Patriots star quarterback would be banned from the team facility in Foxborough beginning Saturday September 5. Berman could also rule in the NFL’s favor and enter an order allowing Brady to play while the next appeal process to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit plays out. Both parties have the automatic right to appeal Berman’s decision.
List of NFL punishments under Roger Goodell:
Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.