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DeflateGate: Tom Brady Negotiating with Roger Goodell for Settlement

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The two sides of the investigation have come together to try and find a mutual ground- it's not happening.

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

According to Mike Florio from ProFootballTalk, and confirmed with additional sources, Tom Brady's camp has had settlement discussions with Roger Goodell and the NFL.

This does not mean that Brady is accepting guilt. This means that the league is trying to find an outcome that doesn't lead to a court case. Per Florio, a settlement doesn't appear likely.

Multiple sources have pointed to a settlement where Brady receives no games of suspension, but will have a game check (or two) penalized. It's uncertain if this would involve Brady accepting any blame or not, or if the league would be able to note that the penalty is for Brady's lack of cooperation in the procedure, and not for his potential knowledge of any shenanigans with the football. While docking a game check would be far greater than the $50,000 fine that Brett Favre received for his lack of cooperation, a monetary fine is more in line with prior precedence than a four game suspension.

According to Florio, Goodell is under pressure from multiple owners to uphold the suspension for Brady. It wouldn't be a surprise if the Bills, Jets, and Dolphins owners were an active part of the discussion, or the Broncos, Steelers, and Colts ownerships.

Of course, we know that at least five team owners have publicly come out in support of Brady's penalty, including Jerry Jones of the Cowboys, Arthur Blank of the Falcons, and Bob McNair of the Texans. The owners in support of the penalty are considered just powerful as Patriots owner Robert Kraft (Jones), or just below (Blank, McNair).

Florio adds that Goodell is receiving legal advisement from attorney Gregg Levy, stating that "Levy has been warning Goodell that it will be difficult to make a suspension stick in court, even under the heightened standard that applies to challenging the outcome of a private arbitration agreement."

If the NFL believes they'll lose in court, Brady has no incentive to settle. Of course, if the suspension is revoked and any blame of any possible deflation is removed from Brady, then perhaps the Patriots quarterback would be fine with letting the whole ordeal end.

The latest scuttlebutt is that a verdict is expected tomorrow afternoon. Of course, that has been the talk for the past few weeks. So we'll report the news when it happens.