Robert Kraft releases a harsh statement on the NFL’s ruling: “I want to apologize to the fans of the New England Patriots and [to] Tom Brady. I was wrong to put my faith in the league.”

New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, left, and NFL football Commissioner Roger Goodell arrive at the NFL Players Association in Washington, Monday, July 25, 2011. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

The gloves are finally off between Kraft and Goodell. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Patriots owner Robert Kraft releases a very harsh statement on the NFL’s ruling to not overturn Tom Brady’s four-game suspension and stand by his four time Super Bowl winning QB. Kraft basically says, it’s on NFL.

“In light of yesterday’s league ruling, I felt it was important to make a statement today, prior to the start of training camp. After this, I will not be talking about this matter until after the legal process plays itself out and I would advise everyone in the organization to do the same and just concentrate on preparation for the 2015 season. 

The decision handed down by the league yesterday is unfathomable to me. It is routine for discipline in the NFL to be reduced upon appeal. In the vast majority of these cases there is tangible and hard evidence of the infraction for which the discipline is being imposed and still the initial penalty gets reduced. Six months removed from the AFC Championship game, the league still has no hard evidence of anybody doing anything to tamper with the psi level of footballs. 

I continue to believe and unequivocally support Tom Brady. I first and foremost need to apologize to our fans because I truly believe that what I did in May, given the actual evidence of this situation and the league’s history on discipline matters, would make it much easier for the league to exonerate Tom Brady. Unfortunately, I was wrong.

The league’s handling of this entire process has been extremely frustrating and disconcerting. I will never understand why an initial erroneous report regarding the psi level of footballs was leaked by a source from the NFL a few days after the AFC Championship game was never corrected by those who had the correct information. For four months, that report cast aspersions and shaped public opinion.

Yesterday’s decision by Commissioner [Roger] Goodell was released in a similar manner under an erroneous headline that read “Tom Brady Destroyed His Cell Phone.” This headline was designed to capture headlines across the country and obscure [the fact the NFL still has no hard] evidence regarding the tampering of air pressure in footballs. It intentionally implied nefarious behavior and minimized the acknowledgement that Tom provided the history of every number he texted during the relevant time frame. And we had already provided the league with every cellphone of every non-NFLPA employee that they requested, including head coach Bill Belichick.

Tom Brady is a person of great integrity and is a great ambassador of the game, both on and off the field.

Yet, for reasons that I cannot comprehend, there are those in the league office who are more determined to prove that they were right rather than admit any culpability of their own or take any responsibility for the initiation of a process and ensuing investigation that was flawed.

I have come to the conclusion that this was never about doing what was fair and just. Back in May, I had to make a difficult decision that I now regret. I tried to do what I thought was right. I chose not to take legal action. I wanted to return the focus to football. I have been negotiating agreements on a global basis my entire life. I know that there are times when you have to give up important points of principle to achieve a greater good.

I acted in good faith and was optimistic that by taking the actions I took, the league would have what they wanted. I was willing to accept the harshest penalty in the history of the NFL for an alleged ball violation because I believed it would help exonerate Tom.

I have often said, “If you want to get a deal done, sometimes you have to get the lawyers out of the room.” I had hopes that Tom Brady’s appeal to the league would provide Roger Goodell the necessary explanation to overturn his suspension. Now, the league has taken the matter to court, which is a tactic that only a lawyer would recommend.

Once again, I want to apologize to the fans of the New England Patriots and [to]Tom Brady. I was wrong to put my faith in the league.

Given the facts, evidence and laws of science that underscore this entire situation, it is completely incomprehensible to me that the league continues to take steps to disparage one of its all-time great players and a man for whom I have the utmost respect.

Personally, this is very sad and disappointing to me.

Now, I know the real reason you came here was to hear Coach [Bill] Belichick, so I’ll turn the podium over to him.”

(Transcript via Patriots.com)

You can watch the video HERE. 

Tom Brady releases harsh statement on the NFL’s ruling

Tom Brady makes it clear he's not happy and when he's not happy good things happen for the New England Patriots. (Photo via Tom Brady's Facebook Page)

Tom Brady makes it clear he’s not happy and when he’s not happy good things happen for the New England Patriots.
(Photo via Tom Brady’s Facebook Page)

Tom Brady released a lengthy statement regarding the NFL’s decision to uphold their four-game suspension against him, via his Facebook page.

“I am very disappointed by the NFL’s decision to uphold the 4 game suspension against me. I did nothing wrong, and no one in the Patriots organization did either.

Despite submitting to hours of testimony over the past 6 months, it is disappointing that the Commissioner upheld my suspension based upon a standard that it was “probable” that I was “generally aware” of misconduct. The fact is that neither I, nor any equipment person, did anything of which we have been accused. He dismissed my hours of testimony and it is disappointing that he found it unreliable.

I also disagree with yesterdays narrative surrounding my cellphone. I replaced my broken Samsung phone with a new iPhone 6 AFTER my attorneys made it clear to the NFL that my actual phone device would not be subjected to investigation under ANY circumstances. As a member of a union, I was under no obligation to set a new precedent going forward, nor was I made aware at any time during Mr. Wells investigation, that failing to subject my cell phone to investigation would result in ANY discipline.

Most importantly, I have never written, texted, emailed to anybody at anytime, anything related to football air pressure before this issue was raised at the AFC Championship game in January. To suggest that I destroyed a phone to avoid giving the NFL information it requested is completely wrong.

To try and reconcile the record and fully cooperate with the investigation after I was disciplined in May, we turned over detailed pages of cell phone records and all of the emails that Mr. Wells requested. We even contacted the phone company to see if there was any possible way we could retrieve any/all of the actual text messages from my old phone. In short, we exhausted every possibility to give the NFL everything we could and offered to go thru the identity for every text and phone call during the relevant time. Regardless, the NFL knows that Mr. Wells already had ALL relevant communications with Patriots personnel that either Mr. Wells saw or that I was questioned about in my appeal hearing. There is no “smoking gun” and this controversy is manufactured to distract from the fact they have zero evidence of wrongdoing.

I authorized the NFLPA to make a settlement offer to the NFL so that we could avoid going to court and put this inconsequential issue behind us as we move forward into this season. The discipline was upheld without any counter offer. I respect the Commissioners authority, but he also has to respect the CBA and my rights as a private citizen. I will not allow my unfair discipline to become a precedent for other NFL players without a fight.

Lastly, I am overwhelmed and humbled by the support of family, friends and our fans who have supported me since the false accusations were made after the AFC Championship game. I look forward to the opportunity to resume playing with my teammates and winning more games for the New England Patriots.”

 

Tom Brady’s Agent on Roger Goodell’s Ruling: “The appeal process was a sham, resulting in the Commissioner rubber-stamping his own decision.”

Don Yee, agent of QB Tom Brady, none too pleased with Roger Goodell. (Photo From USA Today.)

Don Yee, agent of QB Tom Brady, none too pleased with Roger Goodell.
(Photo From USA Today.)

Tom Brady’s agent Don Yee, released a very strong statement ripping the NFL today, following Goodell’s ruling to keep Brady’s four-game suspension the same.

“The Commissioner’s decision is deeply disappointing, but not surprising because the appeal process was thoroughly lacking in procedural fairness.

“Most importantly, neither Tom nor the Patriots did anything wrong. And the NFL has no evidence that anything inappropriate occurred.

“The appeal process was a sham, resulting in the Commissioner rubber-stamping his own decision. For example, the Wells investigative team was given over 100 days to conduct its investigation. Just days prior to the appeal hearing, we were notified that we would only have four hours to present a defense; therefore, we didn’t have enough time to examine important witnesses. Likewise, it was represented to the public that the Wells team was ‘independent'; however, when we requested documents from Wells, our request was rejected on the basis of privilege. We therefore had no idea as to what Wells found from other witnesses, nor did we know what those other witnesses said.

“These are just two examples of how the Commissioner failed to ensure a fair process.

“Additionally, the science in the Wells Report was junk. It has been thoroughly discredited by independent third parties.

“Finally, as to the issue of cooperation, we presented the Commissioner with an unprecedented amount of electronic data, all of which is incontrovertible. I do not think that any private citizen would have agreed to provide anyone with the amount of information that Tom was willing to reveal to the Commissioner. Tom was completely transparent. All of the electronic information was ignored; we don’t know why. The extent to which Tom opened up his private life to the Commissioner will become clear in the coming days.

“The Commissioner’s decision and discipline has no precedent in all of NFL history. His decision alters the competitive balance of the upcoming season. The decision is wrong and has no basis, and it diminishes the integrity of the game.”

NFLPA releases statement on Roger Goodell’s decision: “The NFLPA will appeal this outrageous decision on behalf of Tom Brady.”

Tom Brady warms up before Super Bowl 49. (Photo By: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports/Files)

Tom Brady warms up before Super Bowl 49.
(Photo By: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports/Files)

The NFLPA released a statement today following Roger Goodell’s decision to decline Tom Brady’s appeal and uphold his four-game suspension.

“The Commissioner’s ruling today did nothing to address the legal deficiencies of due process. The NFL remains stuck with the following facts:

  • The NFL had no policy that applied to players;
  • The NFL provided no notice of any such policy or potential discipline to players;
  • The NFL resorted to a nebulous standard of “general awareness” to predicate a legally unjustified punishment;
  • The NFL had no procedures in place until two days ago to test air pressure in footballs; and
  • The NFL violated the plain meaning of the collective bargaining agreement.

The fact that the NFL would resort to basing a suspension on a smoke screen of irrelevant text messages instead of admitting that they have all of the phone records they asked for is a new low, even for them, but it does nothing to correct their errors.

The NFLPA will appeal this outrageous decision on behalf of Tom Brady.”

That last part makes me happy.

Via NFLPA.com

Patriots release statement on Roger Goodell’s ruling

Tom-Brady-and-Robert-Kraft-PI_20120122211938365_660_320

The Patriots released a strong statement today on the ruling by Roger Goodell to uphold Tom Brady’s four-game suspension.

“We are extremely disappointed in today’s ruling by Commissioner Goodell. We cannot comprehend the league’s position in this matter. Most would agree that the penalties levied originally were excessive and unprecedented, especially in light of the fact that the league has no hard evidence of wrongdoing. We continue to unequivocally believe in and support Tom Brady. We also believe that the laws of science continue to underscore the folly of this entire ordeal. Given all of this, it is incomprehensible as to why the league is attempting to destroy the reputation of one of its greatest players and representatives.”

*Via Patriots.com

Tom Brady will take the NFL to court

brady

Tom Brady and the NFLPA will be taking Roger Goodell and the NFL to court, according to ESPN’S Jim Trotter.

NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport was the first to report the news.

Rapoport also says Brady has two options: Fast track it with an injuction or slow-pace it till after the season is over.

I’m happy to hear this! I don’t care which way Brady plays this as long as it overturns his suspension.

The NFL tried to get a head start by filing their own case in New York, however, Brady is likely to take this to Massachusetts or Minnesota. They are more labor friendly and if my name was Brady I’d stay out of a New York court myself.

NFL: “Tom Brady destroyed his cell phone”

Tom Brady will likely sue the NFL.  (AP Photo/Gail Burton) ORG XMIT: OTK

Tom Brady will likely sue the NFL.
(AP Photo/Gail Burton) ORG XMIT: OTK

The NFL made the announcement today that they will uphold QB Tom Brady’s four-game suspension.

Their reason is because of “new” information that Brady ordered his phone to be destroyed around the time Ted Wells asked for it.

“On or shortly before March 6, the day that Tom Brady met with independent investigator Ted Wells and his colleagues, Brady directed that the cell phone he had used for the prior four months be destroyed. He did so even though he was aware that the investigators had requested access to text messages and other electronic information that had been stored on that phone. ‘During the four months that the cell phone was in use, Brady had exchanged nearly 10,000 text messages, none of which can now be retrieved from that device. The destruction of the cell phone was not disclosed until June 18, almost four months after the investigators had first sought electronic information from Brady.”

If you want to read the NFL’s full statement, then go HERE. 

I will say this seems all too convenient for the NFL, that new information that would justify in their minds, their suspension of four-games for QB Tom Brady comes out now. I believe they knew all of this before their initial suspension of Tom Brady, but saved the “he destroyed his cell phone” bit for the appeal process because they knew he would appeal it. Roger Goodell gets to play hero and make his NFL Owners and Patriot haters everywhere happy and when Brady takes it to court and probably gets his suspension lifted, he can be like “NOT MY FAULT.”

It’s a win/win/win for Goodell. But, remember Greg Hardy had his suspension reduced to four games after beating up his girlfriend.

*This is my opinion, I didn’t hear it anywhere, but just what I think after their statement.

Also, the NFL apparently doesn’t know that text messages can be retrieved after a phone has been destroyed.

And FYI, I wouldn’t hand my phone over either to the NFL who leaks more information than a dark cloud leaks rain.

NFL Upholds Patriots QB Tom Brady’s Four-Game Suspension

Atlanta Falcons v New England Patriots

The NFL has announced that Patriots QB Tom Brady’s appeal has been denied, and that he will sit for the first four games of 2015, including the NFL season opener on September 8th in Foxboro against the Steelers and the next three games after that.

The penalties were issued after NFL-appointed investigator Ted Wells found that Brady was “at least generally aware” of plans made by two team employees to prepare the balls to his liking, below the league-mandated 12.5 pounds per square inch.

The NFLPA appealed Brady’s punishment on three grounds: that only the commissioner has the authority to impose discipline (league vice president Troy Vincent issued the original penalty); the four-game suspension is “grossly inconsistent” with prior treatment of similar alleged conduct; and the discipline is based on the Wells report, which contains insufficient evidence to find Brady in violation of NFL rules.

The union also asked Goodell to recuse himself in favor of a neutral arbitrator, but the commissioner rejected the motion, citing the importance of his duty to safeguard the integrity of the game.

The Patriots were also fined $1 million and docked two draft picks, one of them next year’s first rounder, in the wake of the Wells report findings. Patriots owner Robert Kraft eventually decided not to fight those aspects of the league’s discipline even though he’s adamantly defended his team throughout the course of the Deflategate proceedings.

The Wells Report found that Patriots locker room attendant Jim McNally referred to himself as “the deflator” in text messages with equipment manager John Jastremski. The Patriots argued this was simply a term referencing McNally’s desire to lose weight.

This is not much of a surprise, but you can bet we’ve not heard the last of the situation, as there’s rumblings that Brady and the Pats are going to continue to push the issue, and take it to an even higher court.