Attorneys for the NFL Players Association, representing Tom Brady, and the NFL returned to court Thursday to continue settlement talks over the New England Patriots quarterback's four-game Deflategate suspension.
Sources tell ESPN's Sal Paolantonio that settlement talks on the Brady case wrapped up at about 2 p.m. ET. No talks are scheduled for Friday, although both sides are due to file final briefs before next week's hearing and oral arguments. But U.S. District Court Judge Richard M. Berman has reserved the right to call for more talks Monday or Tuesday, before Wednesday's scheduled hearing.
Four attorneys for the NFL, including Gregg Levy, Sam Nash, Jeff Pash and Adolpho Birch, were at the courthouse in lower Manhattan -- along with attorney Jeffrey Kessler and others representing the players' union.
Asked about the talks, Kessler said Thursday, "Sorry, not commenting." An NFL lawyer did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
A source with knowledge of the court proceedings told Paolantonio that both sides are talking to try to avoid the scheduled Wednesday court hearing, which is expected to be open to the public and could include testimony from witnesses. Notices filed by the court Thursday afternoon indicate "principals are not required to attend on 8/19/15," meaning neither commissioner Roger Goodell nor Brady will be required to be in court that day.
Berman has pushed the sides to agree to a settlement before the Patriots' season opener against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sept. 10.
Brady and Goodell, who were in attendance at Wednesday's hearing, were not present Thursday. Brady was back in Foxborough with the Patriots, a source told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.
He did not address the settlement talks or ongoing legal situation.
On Wednesday, ESPN's Chris Mortensen reported that the NFL wants Brady to accept the Wells report -- which concluded that the quarterback was "at least generally aware" of rule violations surrounding the deflated footballs in January's AFC Championship Game against the Indianapolis Colts -- as a condition of settlement.
Brady, meanwhile, sources say, remains adamant he will only accept a settlement that includes no suspension and no admission of guilt.
The public portion of Wednesday's hearing ended at 12:45 p.m. ET after about 1 hour, 20 minutes, and Berman then convened individually with each side in his robing room to continue settlement discussions in private. The talks continued more than four hours until about 5 p.m. Afterward, Goodell, Brady and lawyers for the league and players' union left federal court within minutes of each other.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.