It could be now or never for Tom Brady.
The star was negotiating with the National Football League Tuesday as a federal judge pressured the league and the Players Association to reach a settlement.
Before the hearing scheduled for Wednesday – the latest development in the ongoing Deflategate saga of outrage and litigation - New York Judge Richard Berman was pushing for agreement between the NFL and the Players Association.
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Without one, one sports lawyer told Metro, Berman could be forced to pick from one of three options: uphold the four-game suspension the NFL ordered for the Patriots quarterback, wave the suspension entirely, or stay the suspension and extend the litigation into the regular season.
Berman, said Chris Brown, a founder and managing member of Boston firm Brown & Rosen, seems to want to avoid having to make that choice.
“He may be a bit reluctant to issue a conclusion because so much is at stake,” Brown said.
If Berman were to stay the suspension, that could pose big risks for the Patriots, Brown said, because there would be a chance the star quarterback could end up sitting out later in the season and jeopardizing a run at the playoffs. That has to a big part of conversations happening now behind closed doors, he said.
“There is so much that can be lost here for the Patriots,” Brown said. “[Patriots owner Bob] Kraft and Brady I’m sure are having lots of conversations about what he should or shouldn’t do at this particular moment.”
He said it’s possible there could be a ruling at the hearing tomorrow, but unlikely.
Either way, Pats fans should expect some kind of a punishment for Brady, Brown said.
“I think Brady is going to have to accept some type of punishment,” he said. “If Tom walks away from this with no penalty, in the eyes of the NFL that would be a black eye on the league.”
In other Brady news:
*The QB’s mug was at the center of a small controversy after Gov. Charlie Baker was seen wearing a “Free Brady” T-shirt at an Ice Bucket Challenge on the State House Steps Monday. Baker later tweeted an apology to Barstool Sports for unknowingly sporting a knock-off.
*A brewery in Indianapolis has a special message for Patriots fans: “TOM BRADY SUX.” The message was discovered on some 20,000 cans of Sun King Brewery’s Wee Mac Scottish Ale this week. The brewery’s co-owner told the Indianapolis Star they print a new message on the bottom of cans every day – this one, the owner said, was a joke concocted by an employee named Biscuit.
*Brady allegedly took a trip to Vegas with Ben Affleck and the movie star’s nanny Christine Ouzonian. The New York Post published a picture from the getaway of the 28-year-old Affleck employee posing while wearing a set of Super Bowl rings on a private jet.