SAN FRANCISCO (AP/WPRI) — New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft will not appeal the $1 million fine and loss of two draft choices the NFL penalized the team for its role in the use of deflated footballs in the AFC championship game.
Kraft said Tuesday at the owners meetings that he was putting the league before his franchise because “at no time should the agenda of one team” override “the good of the 32.”
“I don’t want to continue the rhetoric that’s gone on for the last four months,” Kraft said. “I’m going to accept — reluctantly — what [NFL commissioner Roger Goodell] has given to us, and not continue this dialogue and rhetoric. And we won’t appeal.”
The Patriots will lose a first-round draft pick next year and a fourth-rounder in 2017. Star quarterback Tom Brady has been suspended for the first four games of the 2015 season by the NFL, and Kraft’s decision not to appeal his team’s punishment does not affect Brady’s appeal, which already has been filed by the players’ union.
The team had been staunchly defiant in criticizing the punishment. Kraft said he still didn’t agree with the penalties, but wants to move on from the controversy.
“When the discipline came out, I felt it was way over the top, as it was unreasonable and unprecedented in my opinion. So I have two options: I can try to end it, or extend it.”