Football

Report: Players Association made offer in Tom Brady’s appeal of Deflategate suspension

Star News Services

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady.
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady. The Associated Press

The players’ union proposed a settlement on New England quarterback Tom Brady’s four-game suspension last week, but has not gotten a response from the NFL.

A person familiar with the proposal tells The Associated Press on Thursday the offer was “met with silence.”

The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the NFL Players Association’s offer was confidential. There is no timetable on when commissioner Roger Goodell will rule on the New England quarterback’s appeal.

Several media reports indicated the union’s proposal called for Brady paying a large fine, but with no suspension. The Patriots paid a record $1 million fine and were stripped of two draft picks, including a No. 1 selection next year.

The NFL suspended Brady in May after an NFL-commissioned investigation concluded it was “more probable than not” that Brady was “generally aware” of team attendants deflating footballs prior to the AFC Championship Game against the Indianapolis Colts on Jan. 18. Brady has denied any wrongdoing.

Brady appealed the suspension on June 23, and Goodell heard the appeal. However, Goodell hasn’t announced if he will uphold or modify the suspension.

Speaking on NBC Sports Radio on Wednesday, NFL Players’ Association President Eric Winston expressed frustration over the NFL’s handling of Brady’s appeal and said the union is prepared to “take the next step” if Goodell doesn’t overturn the suspension.

“It’s not even worth trying to guess what’s going on because it doesn’t seem like all the time that they know what’s going on,” Winston said. “I hope they do the right thing; I hope they exonerate Tom and overturn his suspension, but if they don’t, we’re prepared to take the next step, whatever that next step might be.”

It’s unclear what steps the players union might take if Brady’s suspension isn’t dissolved, but Brady, reportedly, is prepared to fight any suspension in federal court. To defend him in the Deflategate case, Brady retained lawyer Jeffrey Kessler, who has successfully fought the NFL on multiple occasions, including the New Orleans Saints’ Bountygate scandal in 2008.

The Los Angeles Times contributed to this story

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