Report: A small group of powerful NFL owners is pushing Roger Goodell to refuse to make a deal with Tom Brady

The NFL world is still waiting on a decision from Roger Goodell on Tom Brady’s four-game Deflategate suspension.

In the meantime, Mike Florio of ProFootball Talk reports that there have been settlement talks between the NFL Players Association and the NFL, but they haven’t gone anywhere.

According to Florio, “Roger Goodell is being pushed by a small handful of influential owners to hold firm on the four-game suspension.”

Brady and the NFLPA have threatened to take the NFL to court if Brady’s suspension isn’t wiped entirely. According to ESPN, Brady is “holding firm” in his refusal to accept any suspension, although he’d reportedly accept a fine.

Florio also reports that Goodell and the NFL are hesitant to keep Brady’s full suspension because of the fear that they will be taken to court and overruled.

For Goodell, this is a lose-lose situation. Owners, of course, don’t want Goodell to cut Brady and the Patriots a break. The Patriots have a history with foul play, and Brady’s suspension gives the added benefit of having a Brady-less Patriots team for the first month of the season.

However, if Goodell doesn’t bend, the NFL then has to deal with the NFLPA taking them to court — a mess they’d surely rather avoid. As Florio notes, Goodell’s best bet is probably to hold firm on the suspension, therefore winning over owners, and go to court, where if the suspension is overturned, it’s suddenly out of his hands and he can’t be held responsible.

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