DeflateGate: Patriots Won’t Appeal NFL’s Punishment


Fresh off of publicly denying any wrongdoing of altering footballs in this past year’s AFC Championship Game against the Indianapolis Colts, the New England Patriots have announced that they will not appeal the punishment handed down by the NFL. The league had previously fined the Patriots $1 million and docked two draft picks including a 2016 first round pick, which was met by an emotional outcry from the Patriots organization and their fans.

However, owner Bob Kraft is now singing a different tune, saying that while he still disagrees with the punishment, he’s only looking to do what’s in the best interests of the league and the NFL’s other 31 teams:

"“Although I might disagree what is decided, I do have respect for [commissioner Roger Goodell] and believe that he’s doing what he perceives to be in the best interests of [all 32 teams],” Kraft said via ESPN’s Mike Reiss. “So in that spirit, I don’t want to continue the rhetoric that’s gone on for the last four months.”“I’m going to accept, reluctantly, what he has given to us and not continue this dialogue and rhetoric. We won’t appeal,” added Kraft."

Before anyone makes Kraft a modern-day martyr for throwing in the towel for the betterment of the entire league, let’s not forget that there’s an overwelmingly convincing case in the Wells report that paints a “probably” guilty picture of the Patriots.

Kraft likely saw the writing was on the wall, and there was more evidence available that his team in fact manipulated footballs, than there was against such a notion. Despite his organization’s “hooting and hollering” to the contrary, there was no need to drag this thing out any further, when it would’ve ended with the same undesirable outcome.

It’s worth noting that the Patriots accepting their league mandated punishment reportedly has no bearing on Tom Brady and the NFL Players Association’s ongoing appeal, as Brady looks to get his 4 game suspension reduced. While some have speculated that there’s some sort of “nod and wink” deal between the Patriots not appealing their team punishment and getting Brady’s suspension reduced with the league, that doesn’t appear to be the case according to Sports Illustrated’s Greg Bedard:

It’s significant for the Colts because Brady’s first game back, should he serve his entire 4 game suspension, is against the Colts of all teams in Week 6. However, there’s a strong belief in some league circles that his suspension number will ultimately be reduced because of the high-profile legal team he has assembled, not necessarily because the Patriots announced that they won’t appeal their punishment today.

More from Horseshoe Heroes