Sources: League engages NFLPA in Brady settlement talks

BY Mike Garafolo • July 27, 2015

The attempt to find a solution to the Tom Brady suspension appeal is no longer a one-sided effort.

Sources have told FOX Sports the NFL Players Association and the NFL have had an open line of communication in recent days regarding a potential settlement of Brady's four-game ban for his alleged role in the Deflategate scandal. This follows reports from last week that stated the NFLPA's proposal was ignored by the league office.

That seems to have been the case for a while, though now it's possible the sides could be making an earnest effort to work toward a solution.

With the clock ticking toward the Thursday start of the New England Patriots' training camp, the communication suggests NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and his legal team would welcome a resolution that would include Brady and the NFLPA agreeing to forgo a lawsuit that could drag in to the regular season.

Tuesday will mark five weeks since Goodell heard Brady's appeal in Manhattan. A source said Brady has become frustrated with the lack of a decision from Goodell. Surely the Patriots would also like to know whether it will be Brady or Jimmy Garoppolo under center when they open the season Sept. 10 against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

It's likely the NFL would still want Brady to serve some sort of suspension, while Brady's camp and the union would only accept a fine. Brady has staunchly maintained his innocence privately (and hasn't said much publicly), so it remains unlikely he would accept any settlement that includes sitting out any games.

The impending start of camp has led many to believe this will be the week Goodell finally announces his decision. Though it might seem unlikely a settlement would preclude that announcement, it is clear both sides are at least trying to make it happen.

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