MANHATTAN (CN) – New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady will learn before the end of the week whether he can take the field at the season opener, despite the league’s four-game suspension, a federal judge promised Monday.
The announcement comes with the National Football League and Brady having failed to reach a “consensual resolution” after a month of court-ordered negotiations.
“We did not reach a settlement,” U.S. District Judge Richard Berman said at a Monday morning hearing. “The parties tried quite hard.”
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell benched Brady after a league investigation found that the QB was “generally aware” of ball tampering that marred the AFC championship matchup against the Indianapolis Colts on Jan. 18, 2015.
Referees found at halftime that Brady had been using balls deflated below minimum standards.
During the second half, the pumped-up footballs did not seem to affect Brady’s performance, and the quarterback led his team to a 45-7 win. The Patriots later beat the Seattle Seahawks to become the champions of Super Bowl XLIX.
Both the NFL and Brady’s players’ union turned to federal court with competing lawsuits seeking a judgment over the recognition of the suspension.
Though the NFL insists that it is defending the integrity of the game, Brady claims that the league tarnished his reputation at the league’s unfair hearings.
Earlier this month, Berman told the parties that he would aim to rule before Sept. 4.
With the date quickly approaching, Berman told the parties that he would “certainly” rule before Friday, if not “tomorrow, or the day after.”
Attorneys for the NFL with the firm Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld faced a barrage of questions from Berman last week.
Possibly showing his cards, Berman noted that Goodell’s findings against Brady took a “quantum leap” from the report he commissioned.
Neither of the parties offered more arguments at the 10-minute hearing.
Akin Gump attorney Daniel Nash thanked the judge and magistrate for guiding the settlement discussions.
Jeffrey Kessler, an attorney for the player’s union representing Brady, added: “We trust the court to proceed with a just result.”
The Patriots kick off their next season on Sept. 19.
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