NEW YORK (AP) — The judge presiding over the "Deflategate" legal case says there is no deal, but talks continue in an effort to settle a dispute over a four-game suspension of New England quarterback Tom Brady.

Federal Judge Richard Berman said at the start of a hearing Wednesday in Manhattan that he hopes to decide the case by Sept. 4 if there is no deal.

That's six days before the Patriots host the Pittsburgh Steelers in the NFL's season-opening game.

But he added that a settlement is a "logical and rational option" for the dispute stemming from deflated footballs at January's AFC championship game. New England won the game 45-7.

Brady and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell were not in court Wednesday. Both had participated in negotiations a day earlier. Berman said they will be required to attend an Aug. 31 hearing.

Lawyers are presenting oral arguments Wednesday.