BOSTON (CBS) – It appears for the first time in the messy DeflateGate story that calmer heads may finally be getting involved so that perhaps a deal can be made between the NFL and the New England Patriots.

The spring owners meetings take place Tuesday in San Francisco, and according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the NFL and the Patriots are engaged in “back-channel conversations” to see if the two sides can strike a deal to avoid an appeal hearing for their penalties.

Patriots owner Robert Kraft and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell are both expected to be at the meetings Tuesday.

If nothing changes, Tom Brady will be suspended four games and the Patriots will lose a first round pick in 2016, a fourth-round pick in 2017 and will be fined $1 million.

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