NFL owner: Relationship between Goodell and Kraft Seems 'Pretty Much Dead'
An NFL owner said in an interview with Bleacher Report that he supports the decision by Roger Goodell to hit quarterback Tom Brady and the Patriots hard over Deflategate.
"The main thing (Troy Vincent) said is true," explained the owner, who asked not to be identified, "we need to make sure everyone is following the rules. All of us. I think Roger made the right decision and my guess is the rest of the owners agree."
That part isn't surprising. This other part might not be surprising, either. Yet it was still interesting to hear. The owner said he believes (but made it clear it's just his opinion) that the relationship between Goodell and Kraft is "pretty much dead."
"I can't say for certain but it sure seems that way to me," the owner, who knows both men well, explained.
The owner added: "Some of us (owners) are waiting a little nervously to see what Robert does next."
Kraft released a statement saying: “Despite our conviction that there was no tampering with footballs, it was our intention to accept any discipline levied by the league. Today’s punishment, however, far exceeded any reasonable expectation. It was based completely on circumstantial rather than hard or conclusive evidence.
“We are humbled by the support the New England Patriots have received from our fans throughout the world. We recognize our fans’ concerns regarding the NFL’s penalties and share in their disappointment in how this one-sided investigation was handled, as well as the dismissal of the scientific evidence supported by the Ideal Gas Law in the final report. Tom Brady has our unconditional support. Our belief in him has not wavered.”
The owner did say that while he supported the harsh punishment of the Patriots--including the loss of a first round pick, Brady suspended for four games, and the team fined $1 million--he felt this signaled a new day in the NFL. Some of that is good and some of that is bad, the owner said.
"It's positive that we sent a message that cheating will not be tolerated," the owner explained. "I do think teams are looking around and saying, 'What does this all mean?' Teams are figuring it all out. But I think the bottom line is, don't cheat, and you don't have to worry about getting punished."