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Brady may be open to ban for failing to cooperate

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New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady may be open to accepting some kind of suspension for failing to cooperate with the NFL during the Deflategate investigation.

League sources told ESPN’s Adam Schefter on Wednesday that Brady would be willing to a ban but only if it can be for failing to cooperate with the NFL rather than admitting to the Ted Wells report findings.

However, settlement discussions on Brady’s attempt to overturn a four-game suspension have gone “nowhere,” according to the report.

Brady, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and their lawyers engaged in more settlement talks in New York on Tuesday.

Brady originally had planned to miss another day of practice and attend Wednesday’s hearing. But when Tuesday’s proceedings brought no movement in a possible settlement, Brady decided to return Wednesday for the Patriots’ joint practices with the New Orleans Saints in West Virginia.

Brady missed Tuesday’s practice for the settlement discussions in front of one of Judge Richard M. Berman’s magistrates. The meeting before U.S. Magistrate Judge James C. Francis was held at an undisclosed location instead of the federal courthouse in Manhattan in order to avoid media attention, according to ESPN.

Brady had missed last Tuesday’s practice before attending settlement hearings in New York District Court on Aug. 12.

Berman repeatedly has instructed Brady, the NFL and the NFL Players Association to attempt to reach a settlement.

Brady was suspended four games for his alleged knowledge of intentional reduction of football air pressure in the AFC Championship game in January. He also was uncooperative in the opinion of the NFL and Goodell during independent investigator Ted Wells’ search for details. Goodell said in his decision to uphold the four-game suspension after hearing Brady’s appeal on June 23 that Brady intentionally destroyed a cell phone on or shortly after being asked for access to the device. Goodell upheld the suspension on July 29, prompting Brady to file suit in federal court.

With the ruling by Goodell, Brady is slated to miss the Patriots’ first four regular-season games: the Sept. 10 home opener against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Sept. 20 at the Buffalo Bills and Sept. 27 at home against the Jacksonville Jaguars. After a Week 4 bye, the Patriots visit the Dallas Cowboys on Oct 11. Second-year quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo is expected to start in place of Brady.

Brady would be eligible to return in Week 6 at Indianapolis in a Sunday night game against the team that helped pave the way for the investigation. After routing the Indianapolis Colts 45-7 to advance to the Super Bowl, the Patriots beat the Seattle Seahawks 28-24 to win their fourth title.


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