Patriots owner Robert Kraft has long been a strong ally of commissioner Roger Goodell. However, it sounds like recent events might have changed that.
“You’ll have to ask him,” Kraft told Peter King of The MMQB when asked about the status of their relationship.
In a lengthy interview, Kraft went on the record with King to discuss the scandal surrounding the Pats and the sanctions levied against them. The entire piece is worth a read, but here’s a look at a few of the highlights..
On his frustration level:
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.
On whether he might violate NFL bylaws by taking the league to court over the penalties:
I’m not going to comment on that at this point in time. I’m going to leave it. I won’t say.
On the meaning of the gauge readings:
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 ever happened.
On the capability of quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, who (barring a successful appeal) will start the first four games of the season for New England:
My gut feeling is the same as yours. He is a very hard worker, a very fine young man, but until the bullets are flying and you’re out there, no one knows. Think about how many of these first-round picks, even, don’t make it. [Garoppolo was a second-round pick last year.] He works hard and he studies hard, though.