New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft says he believes the Wells Report is unfair, and he is deciding the team’s next course of action in the wake of the Deflategate punishments.
As a result of the report’s findings, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady was suspended without pay for the first four games of this upcoming season by the NFL, the Patriots were fined $1 million and the team will lose a first-round draft pick in 2016 and its fourth-round draft pick in 2017.
The NFL Players Association filed an appeal of the suspension on behalf of Brady last week.
Kraft repeated his stance on the issue, saying the report doesn't have a “smoking gun” or definitive proof that the Patriots did anything wrong when accused of deflating football before the AFC championship game against the Indianapolis Colts.
"This whole thing has been very disturbing," Kraft told TheMMQB.com. "I'm still thinking things out very carefully. But when you work for something your whole life. I just get really worked up. To receive the harshest penalty in league history is just not fair. The anger and frustration with this process, to me, it wasn't fair.”
Kraft said he spoke to Brady, who assured him that he did not wrong.
"Because we had the discussion—if you did it, let’s just deal with it and take our hit and move on. I’ve known Tommy 16 years, almost half his life. He’s a man, and he’s always been honest with me, and I trust him,” Kraft said.
Kraft was also asked if there was any distinction between Deflategate and Spygate, where the Patriots were fined $250,000, coach Bill Belichick was docked $500,000 and the team was stripped of their 2008 first-round draft pick after illegally videotaping the New York Jets signals.
“There was no dispute about the facts. The team admittedly said what happened ... It was illegal to videotape and in the end we admitted it and took our penance,” Kraft said. “This is very different. In 2007, we did something and acknowledged the fact of what was done. This is an accusation of wrongdoing, without proof."
- Scooby Axson