Patriots owner Robert Kraft tells Peter King of MMQB that he finds the fallout for DeflateGate to be “very disturbing.”
“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.”
King asked Kraft if the league’s ruling has affected his relationship with commissioner Roger Goodell.
“You’ll have to ask him,” Kraft said.
Kraft refused comment about why he suspended employees John Jastremski and Jim McNally, but later proclaimed the organization’s innocence in a response to the Ted Wells report.
Kraft expressed his frustration for the league’s decision to measure the Patriots’ football at halftime, given that this is a measure the NFL had never taken before.
“Anderson has a pregame recollection of what gauge he used, and it’s disregarded, and the [Wells] Report just assumes he uses the other gauge,” Kraft said. “Footballs have never been measured at halftime of any other game in NFL history. They have no idea how much footballs go down in cold weather or expand in warm weather. There is just no evidence that tampering with the footballs ever happened.”
Kraft even offered an explanation why they accepted the Spygate penalties after they were handed down without issue.
“Last time,” said Kraft, “there was no dispute about the facts. The team admittedly said what happened. … It was illegal to videotape [the opposing sidelines], and in the end we admitted it and took our penance. This is very different. In 2007 we did something and acknowledged the fact of what was done. This is an accusation of wrongdoing, without proof.”