FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) — New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell met Tuesday to discuss settling the “Deflategate” legal case but were unsuccessful, two people familiar with the case told The Associated Press.
The failure to strike a deal after about four hours of talks means a Wednesday hearing will proceed as scheduled.
The people, who spoke on condition of anonymity Tuesday because they were not authorized to speak publicly about the case, said the talks occurred away from the Manhattan federal court handling the case. The location was not disclosed.
Lawyers are scheduled to argue Wednesday whether it was fair for the NFL to suspend Brady for four games this season after Goodell concluded he conspired to deflate footballs before a playoff game. No ruling from U.S. District Judge Richard Berman is expected.
Brady plans to be at Patriots practice in West Virginia instead, where New England is preparing with New Orleans Saints players for a preseason game Saturday night.
Brady missed practice on Tuesday.
Berman has been trying to move the sides toward a settlement of the dispute over deflated footballs that has morphed into never-ending offseason scandal. If there is no settlement, Berman will decide whether Brady’s suspension remains in place at the start of the season.
Brady participated fully in practice on Monday. Second-year quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo and recently signed veteran backup Ryan Lindley handled the snaps on Tuesday.
“Brady is a key part of this team, a leader,” said Patriots cornerback Malcolm Butler. “There’s nothing like having Brady out there. But if he’s there or not, we’re still going to work hard either way.”
Lindley was signed Aug. 10 after the team released veteran Matt Flynn.
“He comes to work,” Lindley said of Brady. “I think the biggest thing, though, that has impressed me is his leadership. I think you see it out here on the practice field, and obviously it transfers onto the game field on Sundays.”
Butler took advantage of the no-Brady day, nearly picking off a pass during 11-on-11 walk-through drills and drawing an on-field comment from coach Bill Belichick.
“He just told me we needed that in a big-time situation,” said Butler, who knows all about that after his clinching interception in the Super Bowl.
NOTES: Offensive lineman Bryan Stork was present at practice, but was not in uniform. … Wide receivers Julian Edelman and Aaron Dobson joined running back Travaris Cadet on the bikes at the practice field. … LeGarrette Blount, wearing No. 74 in Monday’s practice, switched back to his regular No. 29 on Tuesday. … Former Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Rutgers coach Greg Schiano was spotted at practice for the second straight day.