NFLPA's DeMaurice Smith claims Tom Brady had 'a productive day' in court

Mike Petraglia
August 12, 2015 - 1:57 pm
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[caption id="attachment_90141" align="alignright" width="350"]NFLPA chief DeMaurice Smith feels Tom Brady had a 'productive' day in court Wednesday. (Rob Carr/Getty Images) NFLPA chief DeMaurice Smith feels Tom Brady had a 'productive' day in court Wednesday. (Rob Carr/Getty Images)[/caption] It may not be a victory but the head of the NFLPA feels good about Tom Brady's day in U.S. District court. "It was a productive day," said DeMaurice Smith, executive director of the NFLPA. Smith's comment to reporters came late Wednesday afternoon, after the NFL, headed by commissioner Roger Goodell and the NFLPA, representing the interests of the Patriots quarterback, adjourned with no apparent resolution or settlement to the seven-month-old Deflategate saga. After a brief public appearance before judge Richard M. Berman, during which Berman questioned the NFL's evidence and Brady's reluctance to cooperate, the two sides and Berman adjourned separately to a private area to talk about the case more and possible options, including assigning a mediator to adjudicate a settlement to avoid the judge making a decision on his own on Brady's four-game suspension. The public portion of the hearing lasted for just over an hour, ending at 12:45 p.m. Berman then convened individually with each side to continue settlement discussions in private. Goodell and Brady left federal court within minutes of each other after the discussions wrapped up, with neither speaking to reporters. Next up is another hearing on Aug. 19 in New York, where Brady and Goodell could wind up taking the stand if no settlement is reached. The Patriots are scheduled to be in West Virginia taking part in joint practices with the Saints prior to their preseason game next week in New Orleans. If the NFL and the union fail to reach an agreement, they will file additional briefs on Friday and meet again to present oral arguments in front of Berman at that Aug. 19 court date. Both sides have asked Berman to issue a ruling by Sept. 4, six days before the Patriots open the season at Gillette Stadium against the Steelers. The NFL sued in late July, asking Berman to rule that the punishment of Brady was properly carried out. The players union countersued, asking him to nullify the suspension. Because the NFL beat the NFLPA to filing, the case was heard in New York, as opposed to Minnesota, where judge David Doty is considered union-friendly. Judge Berman, 71, repeatedly asked NFL lawyer Daniel Nash for "direct evidence that implicates Mr. Brady," giving both sides a chance to state their case in the first hearing before him. Nash responded there was "considerable evidence Mr. Brady clearly knew about this,'' including records of text messages and phone calls between the quarterback and one of two Patriots employees implicated in the scandal.