NEW YORK (AP) A judge is urging last-minute settlement talks between the NFL, the players' union and Tom Brady before a Wednesday hearing in the legal dispute over the superstar quarterback's suspension for using underinflated footballs.
Judge Richard Berman on Tuesday ordered the sides to have ''further good faith settlement efforts'' prior to the first meeting since the sides took the scandal known as ''Deflategate'' to federal court.
Berman directed NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady to join lawyers in his robing room to discuss negotiations prior to a public hearing.
The league has asked Berman to find that it acted legally when it suspended Brady for four games after finding underinflated footballs when New England topped the Indianapolis Colts 45-7 in the AFC championship game in January. The union has countersued to block the suspension.
AP NFL websites: http://www.pro32.ap.org and http://www.twitter.com/AP-NFL