Tuesday’s roundup: Brady, Goodell talks reported
Foxborough, Mass. — Two people familiar with the “Deflategate” case said Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell participated in unsuccessful settlement talks in New York on Tuesday.
The failure to strike a deal after about four hours of talks means a hearing will proceed as scheduled today.
The people, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly about the case, say the talks occurred away from the Manhattan federal court handling the case. The location was not disclosed.
Attorneys are scheduled to argue today about whether it was fair for the NFL to suspend Brady four games after Goodell concluded he conspired to deflate footballs before the AFC Championship last season. No ruling from U.S. District Judge Richard Berman is expected.
Berman has been trying to move the sides toward a settlement of the dispute over deflated footballs.
If there is no settlement, Berman will decide whether Brady’s suspension remains in place.
Brady participated fully in practice Monday. Second-year quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo and recently signed veteran backup Ryan Lindley handled the snaps Tuesday.
Brady plans to be at Patriots practice in West Virginia today, where New England is preparing with New Orleans players for an exhibition Saturday night.
“Brady is a key part of this team, a leader,” said Patriots cornerback Malcolm Butler. “There’s nothing like having Brady out there. But if he’s there or not, we’re still going to work hard either way.”
St. Louis stadium boosted
A Missouri board has approved $15 million in tax credits for a new St. Louis football stadium, part of a push by the state to counter efforts by Rams owner Stan Kroenke to move the team to Los Angeles.
The Missouri Development Finance Board voted for the credits Tuesday as the first step in a potential $50 million tax credit plan over three years.
The approval came despite pushback from Republican Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder and Republican Rep. Jay Barnes also spoke against it. He and other lawmakers are suing to block the state from financing a stadium without legislative approval.
The tax credits represent a small chunk of the $998 million cost of the project.
Hester stresses receiving
Devin Hester is eager to show he’s more than an ace return specialist for the Falcons.
Hester says he understands his primary role with Atlanta is the same as it was in Chicago, to give the offense better field position as a punt and kickoff returner. But he takes pride as a playmaking receiver, too.
Wide receiver Jerome Simpson, who had a team-high 25-yard catch last weekend for the 49ers, will be suspended the first six games for a violation of the NFL’s substance abuse program, team officials said.
Simpson, 29, will not count against the 53-man roster limit when the season begins. He's eligible to join the 49ers' active roster as early as October 19, one day after the team's game against the Ravens.
Simpson has been arrested three times since January 2012.
The current suspension presumably is related to last year's incident.
... The Seahawks released long snapper Nate Boyer.
... Former Montana defensive end Zack Wagenmann suffered a broken foot for the second time in four months, likely ending his rookie season before it started.
... The 49ers dealt Asante Cleveland to the Patriots, a league source confirmed. In return, the 49ers obtained offensive lineman Jordan Devey, who played right and left guard for the Patriots.