NEW YORK, Aug. 12 (Marilyn Malara) — New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell arrived at Manhattan Federal Court Wednesday morning to appear before a judge amid the Deflategate controversy.
Brady is fighting a four-game suspension ordered by the league for allegedly playing a role in the scandal that left several footballs deflated before the AFC Championship Game, thus propelling the team toward February’s Super Bowl title.
The hearing will determine the status or settlement of Brady’s case, which is also being backed by the Players Association. ESPN reports the NFL changed its settlement offer to Brady Tuesday, saying the quarterback must acknowledge a report made by league-commissioned attorney Ted Wells alleging he was “at least generally aware” rules were being broken during the championship game.
The outlet reports Brady will maintain his settlement terms which call for an end to his four-game suspension ahead of the new season. Sources tell ESPN Brady will not admit guilt regarding allegations of his knowing about the deflated footballs.
The hearing before Judge Richard M. Berman is reportedly part of an expedited legal process that aims to resolve the case by Sept. 4, according to USA Today.
Berman released a brief statement Tuesday morning, asking that the opposing parties — Brady and Goodell — cooperate in the court’s efforts to settle the legal matter.
Berman met with both parties and their counsel 30 minutes before Wednesday’s 11 a.m. hearing.