Roger Goodell says he has spoken with Robert and Jonathan Kraft since Monday's court ruling. (Robert Deutsch/USA Today Sports)

Roger Goodell says he has spoken with Robert and Jonathan Kraft since Monday’s court ruling. (Robert Deutsch/USA Today Sports)

It appears Robert and Jonathan Kraft have put Monday’s court ruling reinstating Tom Brady’s four-game suspension behind them — at least according to Roger Goodell.

On CBS This Morning, Goodell said he has spoken to both Robert and Jonathan Kraft since Monday’s ruling and they are “moving forward” focusing on league matters.

“Yes, I have,” Goodell said. “I’ve spoken to Robert Kraft, Jonathan Kraft on several occasions on several different matters. Yes, we are moving forward. We have a lot to do. There are a lot of challenges, a lot of positive things and a lot of things we want to accomplish.”

At least in Goodell’s mind, the Deflategate matter is over.

“This is a decision we reached last summer,” he said. “It was the right decision according to the court of appeals. This is the end of the matter. We’re moving forward and focusing on the draft bringing all these prospects into the league tonight and over the weekend.”

Goodell also responded to Drew Brees’ claim earlier this week that he doesn’t trust any NFL-led investigation.

“It’s very simple. In this case we had an independent council look at this case,” Goodell said. “They went through all the facts. We did not participate directly in that. We cooperated, of course. We looked for cooperation from the team and the other individuals. We got some of that. There was an independent investigation on this and an independent report that was presented to me. That is what we based the judgement on and then we had a hearing. We had a process that is articulated in our collective bargaining agreement that has been there for several decades.”

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable

When it comes to this year's draft, Bill Belichick will be looking forward. (Stacy Revere/Getty Images)This weekend, the Patriots are not drafting for 2016.



On Monday, the Second Circuit of Appeals court reinstated Tom Brady’s four-game suspension for his role in Deflategate.

Roger Goodell doesn't appear to be willing to reduce Tom Brady's suspension. (D Dipasupil/Getty Images)

Roger Goodell doesn’t appear to be willing to reduce Tom Brady’s suspension. (D Dipasupil/Getty Images)

On Monday, the Second Circuit of Appeals court reinstated Tom Brady’s four-game suspension for his role in Deflategate. Since Monday it has been reported the Patriots have more support across the league than ever, some saying they have been railroaded.

Commissioner Roger Goodell went on ‘The Herd’ with Colin Cowherd Wednesday and was asked if he would ever consider reducing the suspension if owners across the league suggested it.

“We’ve had these discussions,” Goodell said. “This was an issue just about a year ago I think right after I left the draft. When we make these decisions it’s with a tremendous amount of thought and a tremendous amount of consideration. Our staff worked very hard on it. I think we have given that full consideration.

“We’re careful and this is where this is where the commissioner’s authority is important. We don’t allow individual clubs to influence an outcome with respect to discipline because it can effect other clubs. The rules of the league, that is handed to the commissioner by the 32 clubs for exactly that reason — to avoid any club getting a competitive advantage.

“While I listen, I obviously will take anything into consideration. Sometimes it is meaningful. Sometimes there is another point in my view that is more powerful or our staff views as more powerful. You have to balance that and recognizing that it is not likely I am going to find a resolution everyone can agree on.”

Goodell was asked if he felt Monday’s ruling was viewed as a win. He said it wasn’t.

“No, we don’t look at it that way at all,” he said. “What it is, is reinforcing the commissioners authority and the leagues authority that we negotiated in our collective bargaining agreement. It also reinforced the underlying facts of the case, the process we engaged in, the fact we had a fair process, we looked at the facts fairly, including the destruction of evidence and came to a reasonable conclusion. The courts of appeals made it clear that the district court got it wrong last summer, which we felt from the moment that decision came down. That is why we appealed it.”

The biggest takeaway from Monday’s ruling was it centered around the CBA and how much power Goodell has within the league. He was asked if he ever regrets having so much power and being the one who handles player discipline.

“Well, that is not our system,” Goodell said. “Unfortunately, we’ve had this system for several decades and through collective bargaining agreements. It’s part of the commissioners responsibility. It’s something we take seriously. It is important for the commissioner to maintain the integrity of the game. That involves discipline against teams, owners, players, coaches. You have to take that position. It’s not an easy one, but it’s one vital to the game from our standpoint. That is why we hold it so dear to us making sure we do it obviously fairly and do it within the constructs of our agreement with our players. This is something we will continue to focus on and if we can improve it we will.”

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable

If you thought the NFL and Tom Brady might reach a settlement — don’t hold your breath.

According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the NFL does not see any need to reopen any settlement talks with Tom Brady and the NFLPA.

It doesn't appear Tom Brady will settle with the NFL. (Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

It doesn’t appear Tom Brady will settle with the NFL. (Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

If you thought the NFL and Tom Brady might reach a settlement — don’t hold your breath.

According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the NFL does not see any need to reopen any settlement talks with Tom Brady and the NFLPA.

Schefter adds neither Brady or the NFLPA has provided “any rationale for settlement discussions.” If the two sides were to reach a settlement, that time would have been last summer.

On Monday, Brady’s four-game suspension was reinstated by the Second Circuit of Appeals and judging by the latest report, it appears it will stay at four games. Brady does have the opportunity to appeal and potentially take it to the Supreme Court, but both are viewed as long shots.

If Brady does miss four games, he will miss Arizona, Miami, Houston and Buffalo with the last three being at home.

For more Patriots news, visit weei.com/patriots.

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable
Bill Belichick

Bill Belichick

We hit on this in the Sunday notebook, but with the first round of the draft looming Thursday, it’s worth reiterating just how much the Patriots are hamstrung because of the Deflategate-related penalties.

It’s important to remember that New England didn’t just forfeit the No. 29 overall pick. When it came to the punishment, the league added the wrinkle that if New England added a first-round pick via a trade, it would be forced to forfeit the better of the two picks. That being said, even with the Deflategate penalty, the Patriots could theoretically trade for the 30th or 31st pick, which would put them at the back end of the first round.

One more note — the Patriots have 11 picks overall, but four of them are compensatory picks (one third-round selection and three sixth-round picks) for free-agent losses last offseason. While it’s always good to accrue as much draft capital as possible in hopes of adding to your roster or making trades, comp picks are not allowed to be traded.

In all, here’s a full rundown of the Patriots’ picks heading into the weekend:

2nd round, 60th overall: assigned selection
2nd round, 61st overall: Obtained from Cardinals
3rd round, 91st overall: assigned selection
3rd round, 96th overall: compensatory pick for loss of CB Darrelle Revis
6th round, 196th overall: Obtained from Texans
6th round, 204th overall: Re-obtained from the Bears in Martellus Bennett trade after having sent it to Chicago in exchange for linebacker Jonathan Bostic
6th round, 208th overall: Compensatory pick for loss of RB Shane Vereen
6th round, 214th overall: Compensatory pick for loss of DT Vince Wilfork
6th round: 221st overall: Compensatory pick for loss off DE/OLB Akeem Ayers
7th round, 243rd overall: Obtained from the Texans
7th round, 250th overall: assigned selection

Blog Author: 
Christopher Price

For what it’s worth, the Patriots aren’t the only team that had to forfeit a pick this spring. Here’s a look at the other teams that had to yield some of their draft capital.

Chiefs, third round — Kansas City was stripped of a third-round pick this year (No. 91 overall) and a sixth-rounder next year because of a tampering charge involving wide receiver Jeremy Maclin.

Falcons, fifth round — Atlanta was docked a fifth-round pick this spring because it was found guilty of piping in artificial crowd noise in 2013 and 2014.

Rams, fifth round — Los Angeles spent a supplemental draft pick last year to select offensive tackle Isaiah Battle. The Rams took Battle in the fifth round, which means they had to forfeit this year’s fifth-rounder.

Blog Author: 
Christopher Price

WEEI.com will continue to offer daily insight and analysis regarding options that may be available to the Patriots when it comes to the 2016 NFL draft. Here is one in a series of profiles of players who could be on the board when it’s time for the Patriots to make a selection. Although the Patriots do not own a first-round pick due to their punishment for Deflategate — and there are restrictions on their ability to trade up — we will include likely first-round picks in case someone slips or the Pats are able to swing a deal.

VERNON BUTLER

Position: Defensive tackle

School: Louisiana Tech

Height: 6-foot-4

Weight: 323 pounds

Achievements: 2015 All-Conference USA first team, 2015 All-Louisiana first team

What he brings: Butler is a great athlete who is extremely disruptive while penetrating the offensive backfield. He is a relentless bull rusher who never quits on plays, even when knocked down. NFL.com writes that he is “able to eat up double teams and keep his linebackers clean when asked to,” while adding that he will “work himself back into the play” if a blocker does not finish the job against him. He finished 2015 with 50 tackles (10 for loss) including three sacks. In his 49-game career with Louisiana Tech he racked up 170 tackles, 29.5 tackles for loss and five sacks. Butler is athletic enough to chase down ball carriers anywhere on the line of scrimmage, and is not satisfied until he does so. He has long arms, strong hands and quick feet, which in addition to his massive frame gives him the physical characteristics NFL teams will be looking for at defensive tackle.

Where the Patriots could get him: Butler is projected to go late in the first round or early in the second, so the Patriots likely would need to trade up if they want to select him.

Notes: At the NFL combine Butler ran his 40-yard dash in 5.33 seconds, completed 26 reps at the bench press, had a 29.5-inch vertical jump and recorded a 104-inch broad jump. He also complete his three-cone drill in 7.82 seconds and ran his 20-yard shuttle in 4.76 seconds.

Related articles: Sporting News’ NFL Draft Diary: Vernon Butler knows where he belongs in the NFL

Washington Post: A closer look at Vernon Butler, NFL draft prospect

Blog Author: 
Travis Upham

In the latest edition of the “It Is What It Is” podcast, Chris Price talks with ESPN’s Field Yates about the Patriots and what they’ll do at quarterback in the wake of the latest Deflategate ruling. Chris and Field also discuss how New England is going to approach this year’s draft, as well as how the Pats stack up against the rest of the AFC East at this point of the offseason.

Blog Author: 
WEEI