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#pounditThursday, February 25, 2021

Report: Tom Brady doesn’t want to admit guilt; settlement unlikely

Tom Brady

The judge presiding over Tom Brady’s case against the NFL once again urged the two sides on Tuesday to work toward a settlement before Wednesday’s scheduled hearing. Unless the NFL is willing to admit it has no hard evidence against Brady, a settlement remains unlikely.

Despite Judge Richard Berman urging the NFL and NFL Players Association to engage in “further good-faith settlement efforts,” Dan Graziano of ESPN reports that the two sides remain “extremely” far apart. Apparently no progress has been made toward a settlement since before Roger Goodell announced that Brady’s four-game suspension would be upheld.

The issue, of course, is that Brady truly believes he is guilty of nothing. Because of that, he seems willing to fight until the suspension is overturned completely.

“To this point, the Brady side has held firm that they don’t want to accept any kind of suspension or don’t want to admit any guilt,” Graziano reported. “They don’t feel like he did anything wrong.”

However, Graziano noted that Brady might be inclined to accept a one-game suspension once Berman starts his own “arm-twisting.”

“If the league came to Brady and said, ‘OK, one-game suspension and admission of guilt,’ you’d think he would have to take that at this point because the fear of losing the case in front of a judge and having to serve a four-game,” Graziano said.

Brady’s reputation has always been the larger issue in the case. He can live with missing one or even a few games, but he can’t live with the NFL labeling him a cheater. If there’s some way the league could present the language so that it seemed like Brady was being suspended strictly for a lack of cooperation, he might be more inclined to accept.

In all likelihood, Berman is going to have to make a ruling. The latest filing from the league indicated that Goodell and his cronies are not going to budge. If it came down to it, Goodell would rather let a judge overturn the suspension than overturn it himself and deal with the public outcry.

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