U.S. District Judge Richard Berman reiterated during Wednesday's hearing that he wants the NFL and NFLPA to to continue discussing possible settlement options regarding Patriots quarterback Tom Brady's four-game suspension for his role in the Deflategate saga.

According to Reuters, Berman said that both sides had enough "strengths and weaknesses" in their cases to find middle ground, adding that "A settlement is a logical and rational option."

Berman, who plans to meet privately with attorneys for both parties later Wednesday, set the next hearing date for August 31. Brady and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell have been directed to attend. Both men were present for the first hearing in front of Berman last week, but because no resolution had been met, neither Brady nor Goodell were at Wednesday's hearing.

And if no deal is agreed upon by next week?