Report: Patriots, NFL having 'back-channel conversations'
The New England Patriots and NFL are aiming to resolve their disagreements in the wake of the Deflategate controversy by exploring back-channel conversations, according to an ESPN report.
The conversations center around whether the league and the team can resolve their differences without an appeals process or litigation, the report said.
On Monday, Patriots' owner Robert Kraft told The MMQB that he found the Ted Wells Report "very disturbing."
Kraft said he spoke to Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and that Brady assured him he did nothing wrong. The Wells Report found otherwise, saying that "it is more probable than not that New England Patriots personnel participated in violations of the Playing Rules."
"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.
Brady was suspended as a result of the report without pay for the first four games of the 2015 season. The league also fined the team $1 million and rescinded New England's first-round draft pick in 2016 and its fourth-round draft pick in 2017.
Last week, the NFL Players Association filed an appeal on behalf of Brady. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell agreed to hear Brady's appeal, a process more commonly outsourced to a league-appointed official.
Kraft and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell are expected to appear at Tuesday's owners meetings in San Francisco.