The NFL on Tuesday changed its settlement offer to Tom Brady, saying there will be no settlement unless Brady accepts the findings of the Wells report, sources tell ESPN's Chris Mortensen.
The NFL had no comment Wednesday.
If Brady had accepted the findings of the Wells report, he would be contradicting his appeal testimony, under oath, in front of NFL commissioner Roger Goodell on June 23.
Brady remains firm on his settlement terms: He will accept a fine, but no suspension, and he will not admit guilt in the matter, sources say.
Goodell and the league's lawyers, meanwhile, on Wednesday morning met with U.S. District Judge Richard Berman for about 15 minutes before the start of a scheduled court hearing in Manhattan.
Brady sat and waited with five lawyers at a long table, then went in to meet with Berman after Goodell was finished.
Brady's settlement hearing came after Goodell ruled to uphold his four-game suspension on July 28. The NFL moved quickly to have the suspension confirmed in U.S. District Court in New York. Brady had hoped to have the case heard in Minnesota, but because the NFL filed first in New York, the case landed there and was assigned randomly to Judge Richard M. Berman.
Berman, 71, ordered the sides to have settlement discussions multiple times, most recently calling for more "good faith" discussions on Tuesday. He called the sides together at 10:30 a.m. ET on Wednesday to be briefed on any progress in advance of the 11 a.m. scheduled hearing.
The NFL commissioned attorney Ted Wells to investigate the New England Patriots' use of underinflated footballs in the AFC Championship Game against the Indianapolis Colts on Jan. 18. The report was released May 6 and concluded that it was "more probable than not" that Patriots personnel deliberately deflated footballs during the game, and that Brady was probably "at least generally aware" of the rules violations.
Goodell suspended Brady for the first four games of the 2015 season for his role in the incident, which Goodell said violated the integrity of the game.
In a 15-page brief filed to Judge Berman on Aug. 7 stating the NFL's position, the league said Brady was more than "at least generally aware" of the rules violations, writing that Brady was suspended for having "approved of, consented to, and provided inducements in support of" a scheme to tamper with game footballs. The league also wrote that Brady "willfully obstructed the subsequent investigation."
Brady and the NFL Players Association said in briefs filed to Berman that Goodell doesn't have the authority to suspend Brady for such a violation (there is nothing in the collective bargaining agreement that allows a player to be suspended for underinflating footballs), while also declaring the investigation and process that led to Brady's suspension was unfair, among other things.
The NFL countered by saying that Article 46 of the collective bargaining agreement gives the commissioner the authority to suspend those he deems violated the integrity of or public confidence in the game of football. The league also said there is nothing in the collective bargaining agreement that ensures Brady must have an "independent" investigation.
Berman has scheduled a second day of settlement hearings for next Wednesday. If a settlement is not reached, Berman has been asked by all involved to make a decision by Sept. 4, which would be one of the Patriots' first days of practice in preparation for the NFL opener against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sept. 10.
Information from ESPN.com's Mike Reiss and The Associated Press contributed to this report.