It has been a month and a half since Roger Goodell upheld Tom Brady’s four-game suspension for his alleged role in Deflategate, and the sides still haven’t been able to reach a settlement.
According to the latest report, it appears the NFL doesn’t have any interest in budging.
While attempting to negotiate a settlement with Brady and the NFL Players Association ahead of Wednesday’s court appearance, the league’s stance was to have his camp accept a “laundry list” of concessions that included recognizing the NFL’s authority to suspend him and other players in the future for “conduct detrimental to the league and obstructing a league investigation,” a source told ProFootballTalk’s Mike Florio on Thursday.
The NFL’s hope, Florio added, was that Brady and the NFLPA would surrender in the face of these large demands and agree to try to work out a reduced suspension for the New England Patriots quarterback.
That, of course, didn’t happen, as the sides remain far apart after Wednesday’s appearance in front of U.S. District Court Judge Richard Berman. Brady’s camp has insisted from the very beginning it won’t accept any ruling that includes a suspension, and given the NFL’s reported offer, it seems unlikely that position will change.
According to Florio, though, the NFL seems insistent on coming away with “what amounts to an enhancement of the labor deal” that will allow Goodell and his staff to suspend players simply for obstructing league investigations.
It’s clear this fiasco has evolved well past the issue of deflated footballs and into a power struggle between the NFL and NFLPA. The sides returned to court briefly Thursday to continue settlement talks, but no progress reportedly was made.
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