Speaking from the owners’ meeting in San Francisco on Tuesday, New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft made his first public comments regarding the entire Deflategate scandal that has swept through the NFL world in recent weeks.
After a long-winded start to the press conference, Kraft indicated that the Patriots will not continue to fight the penalties that the NFL has levied against his team.
“But believing in the strength of the partnership, and the 32 teams, we have concentrated the adjudication of problems in the office of commissioner,” Kraft said. “And 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 interests of the full 32. So in that spirit, I don’t want to continue the rhetoric that’s gone on for the last 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.”
Robert Kraft says Patriots will not appeal discipline against his team, reluctantly. Tom Brady's appeal of his 4-game suspension will go on.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) May 19, 2015
As Schefter indicated, this has absolutely nothing to do with Brady’s appeal. The quarterback has already formerly announced his appeal, which is completely separate from New England’s decision not to appeal the penalties the NFL handed down to the organization.
In announcing the Patriots will not pursue an appeal, Kraft is willing to accept the $1 million fine and the loss of two picks (first rounder in 2016 and fourth rounder in 2017) that the NFL threw against his team.
It appears that Kraft’s decision is based more on not wanting to continue the fight. He indicated that “at no time should the agenda of one team outweigh the collective good of the full 32.” The owner continued to indicate that he respects the NFL’s process.
By taking this stance, it will be interesting to see how Kraft’s willingness to take the NFL’s punishment will impact Brady’s appeal.
Photo: USA Today Sports