‘Deflategate’ judge says Tom Brady’s suspension in jeopardy

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Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots warms up prior to a preseason game against the Green Bay Packers at Gillette Stadium on Aug. 13, 2015 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

NEW YORK — A federal judge has all but warned the NFL that he can erase New England quarterback Tom Brady’s four-game suspension if it fails to negotiate a deal in the “Deflategate” case.

Judge Richard Berman in Manhattan on Wednesday cited legal precedent for overturning the kind of penalty the NFL imposed on Brady during oral arguments by lawyers in the case.

Berman cited at least three legal issues that could result in a ruling against the NFL, including that an arbitration must be fair.

The suspension was upheld by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell last month after he concluded Brady conspired with Patriots equipment employees to deflate footballs before New England crushed the Indianapolis Colts in January’s AFC championship game.

Berman says he hopes to rule by Sept. 4 if there is no negotiated deal before then.