New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell will appear in person for a court-mandated Deflategate settlement hearing Aug. 12 in New York City, sources confirmed to ESPN.
U.S. District Judge Richard Berman last week ordered that Brady and Goodell appear at the hearing. Berman continues to encourage the sides to reach a settlement in the matter of Brady's four-game suspension. There had been some reports Monday that Brady might try to attend the hearing by phone, but the source insisted that the plan was always for Brady to appear in person, as the judge ordered.
Brady was suspended by the NFL for his alleged involvement in deflating footballs for the AFC Championship Game in January.
The next step in the case should come sometime this week, when the judge rules on the matter of whether the parties may submit court documents under seal or whether those documents might be made public. The documents include the transcript of Brady's June appeal hearing with Goodell. If they are made public, they would reveal the full extent of the conversation involving the cellphone the league claims Brady destroyed after league investigators asked him for it. A source also said the union, in its arguments that day, used excerpts from the arguments it made in earlier cases involving Ray Rice and Adrian Peterson. The documents in those cases were sealed.
Goodell and the NFL Players Association will spend a fair amount of time together next week. The settlement hearing for the contempt-of-court motion the NFLPA filed against Goodell in May for taking too long to rule on Peterson's appeal will be heard Aug. 13, the day after the Brady settlement hearing. Aug. 12 is the day before the Patriots' preseason opener versus the Green Bay Packers.
Goodell upheld Brady's four-game suspension on July 28 after Brady appealed. The three-time Super Bowl MVP then filed his counterclaim in federal court in New York on Friday, seeking to vacate suspension.
Brady's lawyers argued in a 54-page filing that the league's decision "violates fundamental arbitral principles concerning fairness and arbitrator bias."
Brady also argued that his punishment violates the "law of shop" because he never was made aware of the disciplinary policies that would be applied to him.
ESPN's Ed Werder contributed to this report.