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NFL, NFLPA engaged in Brady settlement talks


The Sports Xchange

The NFL and the NFL Players Association have engaged in talks regarding a potential settlement of Tom Brady’s four-game suspension for his alleged role in the Deflategate scandal.

Sources told FOX Sports that the two sides have had an open line of communication in recent days after reports last week of the NFLPA’s proposal being ignored by the league office. The talks also were confirmed to ESPN.

The talks could lead to a reduction of the four-game suspension levied on the New England Patriots quarterback, but sources told ESPN it is unlikely the sides will reach a settlement.

On Sunday, Baltimore Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti issued a stern denial that he has tried to influence NFL commissioner Roger Goodell to take action on the scandal.

Goodell said last week there is no timeline for a ruling in the appeal of Brady’s suspension. Speaking at a fundraiser in Pennsylvania, Goodell said, “We will make a decision as quickly as possible.”

Brady appealed the suspension on June 23 at NFL headquarters in New York. Goodell said the league is being very thorough to consider all aspects of the appeal.

Tuesday will mark five weeks since Goodell heard Brady’s appeal. A FOX Sports source said Brady has become frustrated with the lack of a decision from the commissioner.

The NFLPA and Brady’s camp are planning to move their litigation to federal court if Goodell doesn’t wipe out the ban. Sources told ESPN that Brady might be willing to admit to a failure to comply with the investigation in exchange for a fine, but no suspension.

The NFL reportedly is looking at more than 400 pages of documentation as it prepares its decision.

The investigation began after the Jan. 18 AFC Championship game when 11 of 12 game balls tested at halftime of the Patriots’ win over the Indianapolis Colts were found to be below PSI minimums.

NFL investigator Ted Wells found that it was “more probable than not” that Brady was aware of the process.

Patriots owner Robert Kraft, who chose not to fight team penalties — a $1 million fine and two draft picks docked — sent Goodell a signed affidavit supporting Brady for the June appeal.

Patriots veterans report to training camp Wednesday, but Brady arrived at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass., on Monday as he waits the decision from the commissioner.

The four-time Super Bowl winning quarterback hopes to take the field when the Patriots open their title defense against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Thursday night, Sept. 10. If Brady still is suspended for the season opener, backup Jimmy Garoppolo would get the start.

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