Friday, April 20, 2018
Sports

NFL puts Brady in rearview

CHICAGO — As far as NFL commissioner Roger Goodell is concerned, the league is ready to move on from "Deflategate."

Speaking two days after a major victory for the NFL in its dispute with Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and the players' union, Goodell defended the league's discipline process for players in the wake of critical comments by Saints quarterback Drew Brees.

And while praising Chicago's work on the NFL draft, he offered no clues as to where it might be held next year.

A federal appeals court ruled Monday that Brady must serve a four-game suspension handed down by the NFL for the use of underinflated footballs at the AFC championship game in January 2015. The court overturned a ruling by a Manhattan judge while siding with the league in its battle with the NFL Players Association.

"It should have been the decision last year from the district court, and that's what the appellate court said," Goodell said Wednesday. "They reaffirmed our authority and the underlying facts to the case, so we think it came out in the right place. So we're not planning any more steps. We obviously would like to put the matter behind us and move forward."

The NFL Players Association could appeal the decision to the full 2nd Circuit or the U.S. Supreme Court, but it likely would be a time-consuming climb even if the courts took the unusual step to consider it. A message was left Wednesday seeking comment from the union.

Brady and the NFL also could negotiate a settlement, a possibility left open by Goodell on the eve of the draft.

BREES TALKS: Drew Brees said his contract talks with the Saints haven't hampered the club's ability to acquire top free agents this offseason because he is committed to negotiating an extension that would improve the team's financial flexibility.

MANZIEL SAGA: A Dallas judge set a $1,500 bond for former Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel in his misdemeanor domestic assault case. Manziel's attorney, Robert Hinton, said the 23-year-old is expected to turn himself in for booking next week, though no date has been set.

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