AFC Notes: Kraft, Patriots, Bengals

Patriots owner Robert Kraft might not be out of the woods just yet. We heard a few days ago that a judge had ruled in favor of Kraft’s legal team to suppress video evidence in his case that had allegedly been obtained illegally. It was a major procedural win for Kraft, and indicated he might get out of his situation without being convicted of anything. That being said, the government isn’t going down without a fight. Prosecutors are appealing the judges decision, and are looking to get the video evidence reinstated, per T.J. Quinn of ESPN.com.

Kraft’s attorney William Burck celebrated the news, saying it was a sign that the government’s case was very weak without the tape. The lead prosecutor is “acknowledging he has no case without the illegal video recordings that four Florida judges have now found to be unconstitutional,” Burck said. “No evidence means no trial. So the state had only two options — drop the case or appeal. They chose to appeal, but we are confident the appellate court will agree with Judge Hanser and the other judges who threw out their illegally obtained evidence.” Even if Burck is right and the state eventually drops the case, the Patriots boss could still face discipline from the league. How likely Roger Goodell is to issue punishment without a conviction is anyone’s guess. We’ll keep you updated when a ruling on the appeal comes in.

Here’s more from the AFC on a quiet Sunday afternoon:

  • Speaking of the Patriots, they now have a very crowded running backs room. James White, Sony Michel, core special teamer Brandon Bolden (who just got $2MM guaranteed to return to New England), and last month’s third round pick Damien Harris all seem like locks to make the roster and be active on game-days. As such, Rex Burkhead could be the odd-man out, writes Jeff Howe of The Athletic. Howe doesn’t think the Pats will cut Burkhead as long as he’s healthy, but he could be facing an uphill battle to be on the active-46 on Sundays. Howe points out that Bill Belichick is usually pretty steadfast about keeping only four running backs active, but he could make an exception if Burkhead’s special teams prowess is deemed too valuable. Burkhead is heading into the second year of a three-year extension he signed in March of 2018, and it’s not inconceivable he could be cut this offseason. Injuries limited him to just eight games last year, and ten in 2017.
  • John Ross didn’t participate in the Bengals’ veterans voluntary minicamp last month due to “tightness,” per Geoff Hobson of the team’s official site. This isn’t necessarily major news, but it’s notable because of Ross’ lengthy history with lower body injuries. Groin issues forced Ross to miss a few games last year, and he only played in three games as a rookie due to shoulder and knee issues, so it’s troubling he’s dealing with any sort of “tightness.” The ninth overall pick in the 2017 draft has proven he can be a burner, but not much else. We heard back in February the team was shopping the young wideout, but the Bengals pushed back on those reports soon after. New Cincinnati coach Zac Taylor has promised Ross a fresh start, but he’ll need to stay healthy to get that. He’ll have his work cut out for him carving out targets behind A.J. Green and Tyler Boyd, who are entrenched as the first and second options. If he wants to avoid being labeled as a bust, he needs a big 2019.
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16 comments on “AFC Notes: Kraft, Patriots, Bengals

  1. Richard Hangslow

    No matter how hard the media tries, literally no one cares that an old man may or may not have gotten a hooker.

    • Polish Hammer

      How hard the media tries? They’re just bringing the news not making it, Kraft did that. And no matter how many thousand$ he spends in legal fees to save dimes in fines he won’t change the court of public opinion. He’s guilty and should be ashamed of himself.

      • Guest617

        cnn cameras were rolling at the police station before anyone was charged. yes this was media driven satire costing +30M tax dollars

        • Polish Hammer

          And Kraft is perpetuating this cycle with his legal battle. Somehow we don’t hear about the anonymous men and the one other billionaire snared in this sting. They probably paid their $500-1000 fine for the misdemeanor and moved along, but Kraft is spending a fortune to keep it going and keep his name in the spotlight.

    • eaterofbirds

      Not understanding the “media tries” part of that statement. At all. You have to pull the critical thinking out—and lo and behold, Kraft did it. Legal semantics will get him off [pun intended], the criminality part of it—a video that shows him in the act means he DID do it. Not sure why Kraft even denied it and challenged it, but I guess a dream team of expensive lawyers, allowing the story to grow legs, allowing the story to stay relevant, and to lie in a courtroom just shows hes not a man of character but he runs with these elite assholes that can buy their way out of literally everything. This was never a huge deal, a misdemeanor if I remember correctly[or maybe even a violation], you know, like a riding your bike on the sidewalk in some states.

      Peel back all the layers and it turns into a character flaw that most meglomaniacs and ego driven gazillionaires have; lack of scruples and accountability.
      He knows what he did and the act that was performed. the dumbest part being, all he had to do was stop in Nevada, where it’s legal no less, and hire a pair of beautiful young women, but instead does this with some nasty older woman.

      Hes so worried about his image without recognizing there are people in this world that can look at his guilt status but money buys a contrived legal case to counter against an overzealous state case.

      “I made an error in judgement, I’m sorry to the fanbase and my family for this episode and will make a donation to help with foundations set up for families of ______”

      is exactly how a good person that uses bad judgement shouldve had responded. He spent so much cash to clear his name when it’s really just shows he is essentially knowing he is above the law, even in it’s most trivial forms.

    • amazing larry

      I don’t think the rub-n-tug was the issue as much as the human trafficking part was.

      • smrtrtanur

        Good going, Larry…finally someone gets it. And let’s face it…if it had been Joe Sixpack in there, he would be punished. There’s really no need for a double standard here.

  2. swany

    The issue is not that he got a hooker. The place is holding women as sex slave and human trafficking. He is happily paying the people doing it.

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