Robert Kraft Talks Deflate-Gate, Tom Brady


Robert Kraft was the featured interview in Peter King’s ‘MMQB’ yesterday, and he had some pretty interesting quotes regarding deflate-gate.

Here are the highlights, via Peter King of Sports Illustrated:

"In his first public comments since being hit with the biggest team sanction in the 95-year history of the National Football League, Patriots owner Robert Kraft told The MMQB over the weekend that he is convinced his quarterback, Tom Brady, played no part in any football-deflation scheme before the AFC Championship Game in January.Asked if Brady had told him he was innocent, Kraft said: “Yes. 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. I believed what he told me. He has never lied to me, and I have found no hard or conclusive evidence to the contrary.”Kraft spoke for 50 minutes Saturday by phone from his home outside Boston. He sounded alternately defiant and angry. He is convinced the league does not have a smoking gun that would prove anyone connected with the organization deflated a bag of footballs to make them more to Brady’s liking in the AFC title game four months ago. He is convinced the Wells Report distorted the science to fit a conclusion that doesn’t work. He thinks the league has nothing but what he called “ambiguous circumstantial evidence” on the Patriots.“This whole thing has been very disturbing,” Kraft said. “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. If we’re giving all the power to the NFL and the office of the commissioner, this is something that can happen to all 32 teams. We need to have fair and balanced investigating and reporting. But in this report, every inference went against us … inferences from ambiguous, circumstantial evidence all went against us. That’s the thing that really bothers me.“If they want to penalize us because there’s an aroma around this? That’s what this feels like. If you don’t have the so-called smoking gun, it really is frustrating. And they don’t have it. This thing never should have risen to this level.”"

My takeaways:

1. Brady’s Response

What stood out to me the most, was Robert Kraft telling Brady that if he was guilty, he just wanted to “take the hit and move on.” After hearing this, Brady maintained that he was innocent, which is why Kraft has been fiercely defending his quarterback, and his franchise. If Brady was guilty, why would Kraft continue to defend him, and more importantly, if Brady’s boss asked him to come clean, why would Brady lie again? The holes in the Wells report show Brady is likely innocent, and Kraft’s comments only reinforce that sentiment.

2. NFL Not Being Fair

The punishment the NFL handed out down to Tom Brady and the Patriots was not justified. There is no evidence to support them breaking the rules, and even if there was hard evidence, it still wouldn’t warrant a four game suspension, the highest team fine in NFL history, and the loss of two draft picks. Kraft knows the NFL doesn’t have any evidence against his team, so he is justifiably upset about the penalty the moron himself, Roger Goodell, handed down.

3. Reaction

Will Kraft and the Patriots take the NFL to court over this? It sounds like Kraft is still pondering this issue, although it was also reported by Adam Schefter that the two sides are talking right now to try and come to a reasonable compromise to avoid the court. Even though it would drag this process out even longer, I would almost rather see the Pats go to court, because with the lack of evidence the NFL has, actual lawyers would tear the Wells report to pieces.