New York Giants co-owner John Mara will not participate in settlement discussions between Tom Brady and the NFL, sources said, after the court asked the league whether it would reach out to Mara, chairman of the league's chief executive committee, which oversees labor matters.
League lawyers rejected the suggestion by the court that Mara might be able to help facilitate a resolution, citing factors that include the NFL's stance that the entire matter falls under the domain of commissioner Roger Goodell, as dictated by the collective bargaining agreement. Also, the NFL told presiding U.S. District Court Judge Richard Berman and magistrate Judge James Francis that it would be inappropriate for an owner to be involved in a decision that would competitively affect another team.
Mara was informed by the league of the development and agreed with its position, sources said, noting that in Week 4, Brady's New England Patriots play the Dallas Cowboys, one of the Giants' NFC East rivals. If Mara were perceived to have helped get Brady back on the field for that game, there would be a heightened level of criticism.
An NFL spokesman said the league would have no comment.
The two sides, including Brady and Goodell, have been ordered to reappear before Berman on Aug. 31. Settlement talks are at a stalemate.