Mike Garafolo of FOX Sports reports that the NFL Players Association and the NFL have had an open line of communication in recent days regarding a potential settlement of Patriots QB Tom Brady‘s four-game suspension.
According to Garafolo, the possibility now exists of the two sides making an earnest effort to work toward a solution.
Brady and his camp are reportedly frustrated with the lack of a decision from NFL commissioner Roger Goodell. Beyond that, the Patriots are in tough position given that they’ll need to get Jimmy Garoppolo prepared for the start of the year, so it would be helpful to know how long they’ll be without their starting quarterback.
Garafolo mentions that the NFL would still like Brady to serve some form of suspension, but his camp and the NFLPA would reportedly only accept a fine, as Brady has maintained his innocence all along.
There appears to be a belief around the league that Goodell will finally announce a decision at some point this week.
This is in line with reports from last week that the idea of a settlement had at least been broached.
Shortly after it was announced that Cowboys DE Greg Hardy had his 10-game suspension reduced to four games by an arbitrator, many assumed that the NFL would have to reduce Brady’s ban to at least two games.
The idea here is that it would be especially hard for the NFL and Goodell to justify a similar suspension for Brady when Hardy’s domestic violence case resulted in a similar number of games missed.
Although, the NFL is likely to invoke the “integrity of the game” as the main reason for upholding any suspension.
We’ll have more regarding Brady and his appeal case as the news is available.