Last May, Robert Kraft reluctantly accepted commissioner Roger Goodell’s punishment in an effort to “tone down the rhetoric.” But less than a year later, the Patriots owner is reigniting his fight.
Kraft wrote a letter to the commissioner “over a month ago” in which he made a case for the NFL to return the Patriots’ first-round pick. Kraft told the media of his letter while speaking at the NFL owners’ meetings on Monday.
Asked whether he holds out any hope of getting back the pick in April's draft, Kraft said: “I pray and desire. … I think since we’ve owned the team, we’ve had in 22 years three seasons that are under .500 and you do it in this age of parity. Everything is the scheduling, the salary cap – it’s very hard to compete without the lifeblood. And so we understand the importance and I assure you we've done everything we can do that has a chance of success.”
After Ted Wells and NFL general counsel Jeff Pash concluded their investigation into the Patriots’ alleged ball deflation scheme, the NFL ruled to suspend quarterback Tom Brady for four games while hitting the team with a $1 million fine and stripping a first-round pick in 2016 and a fourth-round pick in 2017.