Tom Brady misses practice, headed to New York

Tom Brady will not be on the practice field today, he has more important matters up in New York.

The DeflateGate saga is winding to a close, at least the first chapter is. With a settlement between the NFL and NFLPA looking unlikely, Judge Richard Berman will likely have to rule on the oft-covered "DeflateGate" dispute between both sides.

Most reports seem to insinuate that Berman will come down harder on the NFL, whom still have yet to produce any evidence linking Brady to the alleged deflating of footballs. In court last week, the judge was harsh on both sides and urged both to come to a settlement.

However, that seems unlikely, with Brady and the NFLPA's lawyer, Jeffrey Kessler, proclaiming that the NFL was running a "smear campaign" against his client this week. The NFL would also like Brady to accept the findings of the Wells report, which would essentially mean he would willfully commit perjury since he testified under oath at his appeal.

There will be plenty of egg on their face if the NFL loses this legal battle. More than that, it could change the very way that NFL discipline is handled in the future - with Berman potentially coming up with a ruling that strips the Commissioner of his autonomous power.

There is a lot on the line over a few supposedly underinflated footballs. It's certainly worth a trip up from West Virginia where the Pats are practicing with the Saints this week.

The team takes on New Orleans in their second preseason game this Saturday. Expect Brady to be ready by then.