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- New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft said his team won’t appeal the NFL’s discipline on the “DeflateGate” scandal.
The New England Patriots will not appeal the discipline handed down by the National Football League for the “DeflateGate” issue. The NFL fined the Patriots $1 million and docked two future draft picks on /4/9.
It turns out the New England Patriots will not appeal their DeflateGate suspension after all.
Patriots owner Bob Kraft made the announcement at the Spring League Meeting on Tuesday, per NFL.com’s Dan Hanzus. Then NFL fined New England $1 million and forfeited a first-round draft pick in 2016 and a fourth-round draft pick in 2017 on /4/9.
Kraft told the media on Tuesday he’s accepting NFL commissioner Roger Goodell’s verdict reluctantly, per Hanzus:
“Although I might disagree with what is decided, I do have respect for the commissioner and believe that he’s doing what he perceives to be in the best interest of the full 32. So in that spirit I don’t want to continue the rhetoric that’s gone for the past four months.
“I’m going to accept, reluctantly, what he has given to us and not continue this dialogue and rhetoric and we won’t appeal.
“At no time should the agenda of one team outweigh the collective good of the full 32.”
Kraft’s opinion of the league verdict, which includes a four-game suspension of Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, hasn’t changed. He dubbed it “way over the top, unreasonable, unprecedented in my opinion,” per NFL.com.
The Patriots owner also says the team’s decision on the NFL’s discipline might have been different last week than it was this week, per Hanzus.
Kraft also told reporters he feels the Ted Wells investigation on underinflated footballs used for the 2014 AFC Championship Game against the Indianapolis Colts took too long, per NFL.com:
“The one thing that we can all agree upon is that the entire process has taken way too long. I don’t think anyone can believe that four months after the AFC Championship Game, we are still talking about air pressure and the PSI in footballs.”
Kraft did not answer questions after his six-minute media session. He also did not discuss Brady’s appeal on his four-game suspension, per USA TODAY’s Lindsay H. Jones.
NFL Players Association executive George Atallah tweeted on Tuesday the Patriots’ decision not to appeal will have no impact on the union’s appeal of Brady’s four-game ban:
The Patriots /4/not appeal, but this will not impact the NFLPA appeal of the 4 game suspension of Tom Brady.— George Atallah (@GeorgeAtallah) /4/19, 2015
League sources also told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter the league is not assuring the Patriots or Kraft they will get a favorable response for the appeal, per ESPN.
According to Boston.com’s Braden Campbell, a report surfaced after Goodell handed out the discipline to the Patriots saying his relationship with Kraft had severely deteriorated. However, Kraft refuted this in his statement on Tuesday, saying he respects the NFL commissioner.
The ESPN update substantiates this when it says Kraft and Goodell talked for “quite a long time” before they hugged at CBS Sports chairman Sean McManus’ birthday party in New York on /4/16, per an industry source who told Schefter.
Kraft has long been Goodell’s adviser and confidant. He was also one of the owners who vouched for Goodell’s candidacy to replace Paul Tagliabue as NFL commissioner in 2006. The Patriots owner was also one of the key players in ending the 2011 lockout and is a key negotiator with TV networks, per ESPN.
This is the second time in Kraft’s 21 years as Patriots owner his team has been disciplined severely by the NFL for breaking the rules.
New England was caught videotaping signals of the New York Jets in 2007, an act which cost head coach Bill Belichick $500,000 and the Patriots $250,000 and a first-round draft pick, per ESPN.
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