<
>

Source: Tom Brady settlement negotiations at stalemate

Talks between Tom Brady and the NFL were at a stalemate Tuesday as the sides met to settle the star quarterback's attempt to overturn a four-game suspension, a source told ESPN's Adam Schefter.

Brady was in New York with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell to participate in the settlement talks and, according to multiple reports, initially had planned to attend a federal court hearing for the second straight week Wednesday.

But the sides "got nowhere," a source told Schefter, prompting Brady to change his mind and join the New England Patriots for their practice Wednesday in West Virginia -- a joint workout with the New Orleans Saints -- rather than attend the hearing.

Brady and Goodell were both present in the meeting with U.S. Magistrate Judge James C. Francis, who is working with U.S. District Court Judge Richard M. Berman, a source told Schefter. The meeting was held at an undisclosed location instead of the federal courthouse in Manhattan in order to avoid media attention, sources told ESPN's Sal Paolantonio.

Francis reported the lack of progress later Tuesday to Berman, who is presiding over the court hearings.

Berman already has ruled that neither Brady nor Goodell must attend Wednesday's hearing. The NFL is declining to identify who from the league will attend Wednesday's hearing, a source told ESPN.

Berman repeatedly has instructed Brady, the NFL and the players' union to attempt to reach a settlement and to tone down rhetoric in the case. Both Brady and Goodell appeared in Berman's court last Wednesday, although little progress was made.

While Brady was busy at the settlement talks, second-year quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo and recently signed veteran backup Ryan Lindley handled the snaps Tuesday at the Patriots' practice in Foxborough, Massachusetts.

"Brady is a key part of this team, a leader," Patriots cornerback Malcolm Butler said. "There's nothing like having Brady out there. But if he's there or not, we're still going to work hard either way."

Brady's attorneys filed documents Friday in U.S. District Court, alleging a smear campaign against the two-time NFL MVP and reiterating their claims of unfair treatment by Goodell and the league.

Brady is seeking to overturn the suspension for his role in the use of deflated footballs in the AFC Championship Game. Goodell upheld the suspension on July 29 when Brady appealed, prompting Brady to file suit in federal court.

ESPN's Adam Schefter, Sal Paolantonio, Dan Graziano and Mike Reiss and The Associated Press contributed to this report.