New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft announced that his team will “accept reluctantly” the punishments inflicted upon it by the NFL in the wake of the Wells Report.
The NFL fined the team an NFL-record $1 million and snatched first- and fourth-round picks. The Wells Report judged it “more probable than not” that game-day staff conspired to deflate footballs under pressure from quarterback Tom Brady before the AFC Championship Game.
Kraft’s decision does not influence Tom Brady’s appeal. The NFL suspended the quarterback for four games. Brady maintains his innocence.
Kraft’s remarks came at an NFL meeting in San Francisco on Tuesday morning.
There, the 72-year-old owner criticized the Wells Report as “unreasonable,” “not fair,” and offering “no hard evidence.” Nevertheless, Kraft says he won’t appeal or circumvent the league through the courts for the greater good.
“What I have learned over the last two decades is that the heart and soul and strength of the NFL is the partnership of 32 teams,” Kraft remarked at the press conference. “It’s clear that no time should the agenda of one team outweigh the collective good of the 32.”