The New England Patriots could be getting Tom Brady back sooner than expected, with rumors that that quarterback has offered to accept a suspension for not cooperating with the league’s investigation while still denying any role in DeflateGate.
Brady was handed a four-game suspension after a league investigation determined that he more than likely knew about plans to deflate footballs to below league standards. The quarterback has remained steadfast in his denial of any involvement, and is currently locked in a court battle with the NFL over the suspension.
The two sides have met several times in an attempt to reach a settlement, with U.S. District Court Judge Richard M. Berman urging Brady and the NFL to work out the issue on their own, rather than forcing the court to decide.
Rumors this week indicated that Tom Brady is willing to accept a suspension if the NFL agrees to make him admit to wrongdoing in any plot to deflate footballs, but the offer didn’t appear to bring either side closer to a conclusion.
But Judge Berman could push both sides closer to a conclusion, and Brady’s offer may help break the stalemate.
ESPN reported as follows.
“Berman repeatedly has instructed Brady, the NFL and the players’ union to attempt to reach a settlement and to tone down rhetoric in the case. Both Brady and Goodell appeared in Berman’s court last Wednesday, although little progress was made.
Brady’s attorneys filed documents Friday in U.S. District Court, alleging a smear campaign against the two-time NFL MVP and reiterating their claims of unfair treatment by Goodell and the league.”
If the reports are true, it could be an acceptable, if imperfect, solution for the New England Patriots. While they ideally would like Tom Brady back for all four games, an agreement in which he accepts punishment for not cooperating would more than likely allow him to come back sooner. The settlement could cut down Brady’s suspension to two or even one game, some experts believe. With backup Jimmy Garoppolo struggling at times in training camp, having Brady back sooner could be key to the team’s playoff plans this year.
But rumors this week don’t look great for the New England Patriots. Tom Brady decided to skip Wednesday’s court hearing, with sources telling USA Today‘s Tom Pelissero that the quarterback chose to be with his team at camp, as he believes there’s no chance of reaching a settlement right now.
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