SAN FRANCISCO — New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft will not appeal the $1 million fine and loss of two draft choices the NFL penalized the team for its role in the use of deflated footballs in the AFC championship game.
Kraft said Tuesday at the owners meetings that he was putting the league before his franchise because “at no time should the agenda of one team outweigh the collective good of the 32.”
The Patriots will lose a first-round draft pick next year and a fourth-rounder in 2017.
“When the discipline came out, I felt it was way over the top,” Kraft said, adding that if he had made his decision last week, it might have been a different one.
But after further consideration, he cited “believing in the strength of the (NFL) partnership and the 32 teams” for dropping any appeal plans.
Kraft also recognized the powers given to commissioner Roger Goodell.
“I do have respect for the commissioner and believe he is doing what he perceives to be in the best interest of the 32,” Kraft added.
Star quarterback Tom Brady has been suspended for the first four games of the 2015 season by the NFL, and Kraft’s decision not to appeal his team’s punishment does not affect Brady’s appeal, which already has been filed by the players’ union.
Kraft would not take any questions about his decision nor about Brady’s appeal.
AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP_NFL
Barry Wilner, The Associated Press