Robert Kraft made it clear Wednesday where he stands when it comes to Deflategate. (Darren McCollester/Getty Images)Robert Kraft heard you loud and clear, Patriots fans.



With the upholding of Tom Brady‘s suspension, the Deflategate saga has taken yet another turn. With it, more headlines and smoking hot takes have been spawned.

More than anything, the Internet and Twitter have been set ablaze with reactions ranging from serious to irreverent, including those from current and former NFL players.

Blog Author: 
Josh Slavin

FOXBORO — Robert Kraft did Bill Belichick a big favor Wednesday. He took the burden of talking about Tom Brady and Deflategate off his plate with his attack on the NFL.

Bill Belichick speaks after Robert Kraft Wednesday at Gillette Stadium. (Mike Petraglia/WEEI.com)

Bill Belichick speaks after Robert Kraft Wednesday at Gillette Stadium. (Mike Petraglia/WEEI.com)

FOXBORO — Robert Kraft did Bill Belichick a big favor Wednesday. He took the burden of talking about Tom Brady and Deflategate off his plate with his attack on the NFL.

Belichick opened his press conference following Kraft’s statement by saying the Patriots coaching staff is focused on preparing for the season, not Brady’s suspension or a possible showdown in court.

“I think Robert took care of the other situation. Tom had a statement so there’s nothing to really talk about there,” Belichick said. “Won’t be dealing with that at all. Just get the team ready and prepare for the regular season as we always do and as we did all spring. So, there’s no change for us on the football team.”

Belichick began his press conference by stressing his traditional approach to training camp.

“It’s good to see everyone back here. We got all the players back today for the start of training camp,” he said. “Right now, we’re in a long, step-by-step process as we head into the beginning of the 2015 season. So, we’re just going to take it one-day-at-a-time. I’d say we’ve got some preparation work to do, in terms of conditioning and going through some policies and things like that, trying to get everyone on the same page like we normally do. We’ll try to have a good day today and try to have another one tomorrow and just string them along day-by-day so that’s really where we’re at.”

Naturally, some of the over 50 reporters on hand did make several attempts to pry some type of response, with little to no success.

“We’re going to take it day-to-day, just like we always do,” Belichick said of the impact of the story. “We start training camp today. We’ll get ready for the 2015 season starting today.”

Anything to add?

“No. It’s already been addressed,” he said.

Another attempt to elicit some type of response was met with some wry humor.

“You heard what Robert just said. It’s already been addressed. Maybe you ought to go back and look at your notes. It’s already been addressed,” he said. “We’re going to continue to get the team ready for the 2015 season. That’s what we’re going to do.”

Blog Author: 
Mike Petraglia

In the wake of the NFL’s upholding of Tom Brady‘s suspension for his involvement in Deflategate, ESPN radio and TV host Stephen A. Smith called in to Dennis & Callahan on Wednesday to talk about the ruling and its fallout.

Stephen A. Smith

Stephen A. Smith

In the wake of the NFL’s upholding of Tom Brady‘s suspension for his involvement in Deflategate, ESPN radio and TV host Stephen A. Smith called in to Dennis & Callahan on Wednesday to talk about the ruling and its fallout. To listen to the interview, go the the D&C audio on demand page.

After a failed appeal of the suspension with the NFL, Brady is prepared to take the league to court in an attempt to get his suspension reduced or eliminated. According to Smith, who cited NFL sources, that isn’t a good idea.

“Somebody from the NFL, connected to the league office, told me yesterday: ‘Let him bring it on. If you get deposed, you give sworn testimony, we can then open the floodgates and ask anything. If he wants to open that Pandora’€™s box, be our guest. We will be waiting,'” Smith conveyed. “I’m telling you, he needs to drop this or it could potentially get ugly for everybody.”

On Wednesday morning, Brady issued a statement on his Facebook page with defenses and explanations for infractions that he stands accused of by the NFL. According to Smith, Brady’s reasoning was believable, but very predictably so.

“The way Brady sounds makes a lot of sense,” Smith said. “When you have time and you write down an explanation months after the fact and your lawyers and your representation and everybody looks over it, you can come up with a lot of plausible explanations. Or [NFL commissioner] Roger Goodell may very well be wrong. It depends on what side you believe.”

Smith said that the controversy goes well beyond the suspected deflation of footballs and is more an issue of preserving the authority of Goodell.

“The NFL could have resolved this so long ago,” Smith said. “They not only dragged it out, they paid $5 million [to investigator Ted Wells] on top of it, so, clearly, this is not about deflated footballs.

“This is about something significantly more, and one would venture to guess, it’s about the power the NFL wields and sending a message to the Patriots, to Tom Brady and the players association that, ‘You don’t have dominion over us, it is definitely the other way around, and you had better recognize that.’ “

According to Smith, there is a sense within the league that, “We got him. He lied. He tried to cheat and gain an unfair advantage and he got caught.”

Though owner Robert Kraft has been criticized by Patriots fans for relenting in his defense and accepting punishment imposed by the league (a $1 million fine and loss of a first-round draft pick), Smith said that NFL owners have a primary obligation to the league, not to their own franchises.

As great as Tom Brady is and as much as you love your organization and you own your team, it is your obligation first and foremost to look out for the best interests of the league, and it is not in the best interests of the league if you fight on behalf of your coach and fight on behalf of your quarterback at the expense of the commissioner’€™s power, which the 32 owners bestowed upon him, because that works against the best interests of the league,” Smith said.

Blog Author: 
Josh Slavin

Prior to Bill Belichick‘s regularly scheduled press conference to open the start of training camp, Robert Kraft took to the podium and addressed the appeal of Tom Brady‘s four-game suspension being upheld.

Robert Kraft

Robert Kraft

Prior to Bill Belichick‘s regularly scheduled press conference to open the start of training camp, Robert Kraft took to the podium and addressed the appeal of Tom Brady‘s four-game suspension being upheld.

He came out swinging against the league.

Kraft said the league’s ruling Tuesday was “unfathomable.”

He went onto say he regretted what he said in May at the NFL owners’ meetings and apologized to Brady and Patriots fans.

Kraft said he took the harshest penalty in the history in the league with the hope that it was exonerate Brady.

“I was wrong to put my faith in the league,” he said.

Stay tuned for more…

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable

Tom Brady responded to the NFL’€™s confirmation of his four-game suspension by defending himself in a statement on his Facebook page Wednesday morning and insisting neither he nor anyone in the Patriots organization did anything wrong.

Tom Brady responded to the NFL’€™s confirmation of his four-game suspension by defending himself in a statement on his Facebook page Wednesday morning and insisting neither he nor anyone in the Patriots organization did anything wrong.

In his strongest public comments since the controversy broke after the AFC championship game, the Patriots quarterback wrote:

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 ‘€œprobable’€ that I was ‘€œgenerally 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 ‘€œsmoking 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.

Blog Author: 
Jerry Spar