A federal judge will determine the fate of “Deflategate” after negotiations between New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell fell apart, reports Yahoo! News. Tom Brady was found guilty and suspended from four games after allegedly helping Patriots team mates deflate footballs against NFL regulations. The debacle has since been known as Deflategate.
Tom Brady arrives at today’s hearing in New York City. pic.twitter.com/5hOxRbHZuB
— NFL Network (@nflnetwork) August 31, 2015
On August 30, Federal Judge Richard Berman announced that during the morning, lawyers for Brady and Goodell ended up at an impasse over Deflategate negotiations. Now, it’s up to the federal judge to decide whether the Deflategate suspensions will be upheld. According to Yahoo! News, Berman expects to make a ruling as early as Tuesday over Deflategate, although it could take until Friday, reports the Boston Globe. Until he makes a ruling regarding Deflategate, Berman urged both sides to continue their negotiations.
The judge required both Brady and Goodell to be in court, which marks the third time this month the quarterback has missed practice over Deflategate. The hearing today is the last time the Deflategate lawyers have to make the case for their respective sides, reports the Boston Globe.
— New York Daily News (@NYDailyNews) August 31, 2015
Berman stated a settlement between the parties would be “rational and logical,” but, according to CBS Boston, the judge also “cited weaknesses in the way the NFL handled the controversy.” Berman also warned the Deflategate parties that “there was precedent for judges to toss out penalties issued by arbitrators,” and the NFL’s ruling against Brady was “too vague.”
CBS Boston reports that Jay Feely accompanied Tom Brady to the Deglategate court, and surprise witness, Giants owner John Mara, was requested to appear by Judge Berman to testify about Deflategate.
Tom Brady initially appealed the NFL’s decision. However, Goodell upheld the suspension, claiming that the quarterback colluded to deflate footballs before the AFC championships. Tom then asked the Deflategate case to be referred to a federal court.
According to the Boston Globe, Deflategate won’t end with a federal ruling. Both sides have the option to appeal, dragging Deflategate out for months. In the meantime, Tom will have to get an injunction in order to keep playing — another legal move that could take months, and potentially cause the quarterback to miss the entire 2015 season. In order to officially put Deflategate to rest, according to the Boston Globe, a settlement is likely in order, and Tom Brady has shown signs he’s willing to settle for a one game suspension.
[Image credit: Spencer Platt / Getty Images]