Jonathan Kraft suggests a rethinking of the NFL’s power over player discipline

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Four years ago, the NFL insisted on retaining full power over the Personal Conduct Policy and other types of conduct detrimental to the integrity of the game.

At a time when those powers gradually have eroded under the substance-abuse policy and PED policy, Patriots president Jonathan Kraft thinks that the time has possibly come to yield final say on all player disciplinary issues.

“The Personal Conduct Policy and how discipline would be handled by the Commissioner started under [former Commissioner] Paul [Tagliabue] and was strengthened under Roger [Goodell],” Kraft said Saturday during his a pregame radio interview on 98.5 The Sports Hub, via Mike Reiss of ESPNBoston.com. “I think the world has changed and the complexity of some of the situations — things that I don’t think we ever thought we would be dealing with, we’re dealing with.”

Kraft was careful to point out that he wasn’t talking only about the controversy that resulted in the NFL imposing a four-game suspension on Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, but “the seriousness of a lot of the other issues that we’re dealing with,” such as domestic violence.

“There probably needs to be a rethinking so that the league office and the Commissioner aren’t put in a spotlight in a way that detracts from the league’s image and the game,” Kraft said, “even if the league office is doing the right thing, or the wrong thing, or whatever you think. It probably needs to be rethought for the modern era that we’re in and the different things that are coming up that I don’t think people anticipated and how the public wants to see them treated.”

He’s right. As the ultimate reality show continues to become more and more important to football fans and more and more closely followed by the media every hour of every day of every month of every year, it’s becoming too difficult for the league to balance its various competing interests while also trying to do “the right thing” in every case, whatever “the right thing” may be.

“At the end of the day, our league consumes the country’s consciousness for big periods of the year and what we’re doing at the league level, and what the players are doing and coaches are doing should be the focus of how the public views us that vast majority of the time,” Kraft said. “I’m talking about all the things that have been talked about over the last year. I think it’s a general big-picture issue that needs to be addressed, but I don’t have any answers for you today.”

It’s another way of saying that it’s one thing to have full power over issues that no one is paying attention to how it’s being implemented, but quite another when the media is acting like Gordon Sumner plucking a standup bass in black and white.

“I think the league office, with the business of football, there is so much to handle day to day, and so much to do,” Kraft said. “I think there needs to be a prescribed process for how certain parts of the discipline process are going to work, especially probably the appeals, so that the spotlight and the attention doesn’t all have to fall on Park Avenue. I’m not saying Park Avenue is capable or not capable. I’m not making a value judgment with what I’m saying. I think I’m just making a big-picture macro observation.”

If the NFL agrees, the next challenge becomes figuring out how to do what the NFL Players Association has been clamoring for the NFL to do, after the NFL made concessions during the 2011 labor negotiations in order to retain its power over player discipline. Does the league play it cool, trying to get something at the bargaining table for doing something it should do without a quid pro quo? Or does the league find a way to do what’s right without regard to what the league gets in return?

Based on the way the NFL has handled the settlement talks in the litigation spawned by Brady’s suspension, do we really need to even consider that one?

118 responses to “Jonathan Kraft suggests a rethinking of the NFL’s power over player discipline

  1. Im sure if Brady had been fined he wouldnt have had an issue with the process.

    Sorry but I find it more credible when a guy speaks out before he gets burned.

  2. The owners did not get where they are by being stupid , save for the card carrying members of the lucky sperm club (Irsay, York for starters.)

    There is no reason why player discipline should not be subject to a clearly articulated code and disputes resolved by arbitration, retired judges or other truly independent parties – good mangers let people play to their strengths and these on going fiascos show that these matters aren’t Park Avenues.

  3. Pay attention to what Jonathan has to say. In this case, he is absolutely right. Secondly, he is a hard nosed business man. When his father steps down and Jonathan takes over the role of representing the Patriots in dealing with the league and the other owners, he won’t put up with the crap his father does in hopes of having so much influence. How well has that worked for Robert?

  4. Very eloquent way to say things need to change. I agree. One could also look at the constitution. It was written in a different time and place so to speak. Issues we are dealing with today were not even thought of when it was penned.

  5. “sundaysundaysunday says:
    Aug 23, 2015 12:28 PM
    Where were you when the Saints got shafted?”

    This is the problem with NFL owners. Every one of them wants to win so badly that they are willing to do what they can to stick it to the other owners. Except when it’s their turn. Or they can’t really say their true feelings because they are partners who are in it together. The whole system is messed up, badly.

    He is right, though. The current system is ridiculous when you have a guy like Goodell, who cares more about his ego, than Tagliabue, who actually cared more about the game.

  6. Basically he’s saying… Brady and Billicek cheat so much that they’ll undoubtedly be caught again. We have decided that we don’t like it when they are suspended.

  7. sundaysundaysunday,

    I sheepishly admit the shame of not paying as much attention to the corruption in the league office during bountygate, during bullygate, and even during the cap fines to the Cowboys and Redskins for exceeding a non-existing cap.

    It wasn’t my team involved in those, so I didn’t pay attention to the details.

    My bad.

    This time I did. With that knowledge I look back and realize that lies and set-ups are an everyday feature of the current powers-that-be.

    I am ashamed that I hadn’t noticed before, but now my eyes are open. Unfortunately the nature of fandom is that 32 teams have to get screwed before all of their fans are fully aware of what is going on.

    The Saints have become my NFC team. Classy, and yes a victim of league wrongdoing.

  8. What a hypocrite. Patriots along with all the other teams in the league, except for the Steelers, approved the new CBA to allow Goodell to retain his power. The Steelers were the ONLY team that voted against the CBA. Steelers are the ONLY team that should be allowed to object to the current structure. Everyone else is a HYPOCRITE.

  9. When he says the league is dealing with things they never thought they would have to deal with, was he referring to a team of fully grown adult multi-millionaires cheating like grade school kids? Because that’s what Kraft has built.

  10. The NFL is a joke when it comes to discipline, its funny how so many on this site bash Brady and Pats for cheating, when over 60% of EVERY teams players use or have taken steroids or PED. When these guys are caught they lie and the story goes away, and were acting like a little air in a ball makes a team a great team……..LOL just a bunch of haters

  11. Shocking! Image a cheatriot being concerned with player discipline when it’s his own player.

    This couldn’t have happened to a better or more deserving franchise.

  12. xcflqb7 says:
    Aug 23, 2015 12:35 PM

    The owners did not get where they are by being stupid , save for the card carrying members of the lucky sperm club (Irsay, York for starters.)
    _________________________________

    Excellent point. Add John The Walking Dead Mara to that list.

    He refused a request to be involved in settlement talks, because it was a “conflict of interest”. Yet he spearheaded the salary cap ripoff of 2 division rivals, which somehow was not a conflict of interest.

  13. Funny how having Goodell punishing a bunch a of no name DBs and position coaches was all fun and games but the minute he touches the skirt of the Golden Child he has too much power.
    Bounty gate no real evidence Williams banned indefinitely Payton for a year multiple players long suspensions
    Pacman Jones fight a stripclub banned for a yr
    Roethlisberger more likely than no raped girls 4 games
    Justin Blackmon puffs wacky tobacky yr long suspention
    Rice knocks girl out admits to it 2 games tape comes out outraged fans upped to indefinite

  14. Can’t help but wonder if any of this would have been a topic, never mind an issue, if Paul Tagliabue were still commissioner. No matter where you stand on the myriad disciplinary embarrassments by any reasonable definition they have been very poorly handled.

  15. A coherent interview. But unfortunatley the NFL IS this screwed up and talking about how good “it might be someday” is worthless to me. They’re taking massive amounts of public money, it needs to stop. Everyone should be vocalizing the refusal of public money unless an owner comes on bended knee and offers a percentage of the team to the city.

    Otherwise gets these clowns out.

  16. Just another example of why, under the stewardship of the Kaft family the Patriots have reached heights never attained in the modern NFL, whereas the other 31 commoners are left fighting for a distant, sloppy seconds.

  17. 12 games or 16, Tom Brady is coming to your town with a personal mission to destroy your team. You are going to wish he just got fined in the first place.

    #defending champs

  18. Kraft said, “even if the league office is doing the right thing, or the wrong thing, or whatever you think. It probably needs to be rethought for the modern era that we’re in
    =======
    What’s the demarcation line between eras?
    Patriots cheating scandals?
    ——————–
    “At the end of the day, our league consumes the country’s consciousness for big periods of the year …”
    ============
    Not sure how I feel about that statement. Is it a guy feeling the NFL is way more important than it is? Or is it sad but true?
    ——————
    Other than that, a good idea. Maybe some of the owners have been driven to tears by all the bad publicity and know they can’t continue to have such a circus.

  19. Oh shut up Kraft. Your boy got busted. The Deflator wasn’t named The Deflator because he was fat. You and your fans must be setting sales records for Kleenex.

  20. Kraft is a bum. Sit by blindly supporting the commish for years as other teams get hosed but as soon as it happens to you it’s time to fix it.

  21. The Krafts know that if this problem isn’t addressed properly before the next contract, the players will strike forever rather than have Roger continue to play God.

    345 Park Ave. NY, Factory of corruption…

  22. fb3221379 says:
    Aug 23, 2015 12:48 PM
    The NFL is a joke when it comes to discipline, its funny how so many on this site bash Brady and Pats for cheating, when over 60% of EVERY teams players use or have taken steroids or PED. When these guys are caught they lie and the story goes away, and were acting like a little air in a ball makes a team a great team……..LOL just a bunch of haters
    *******************
    You might sound more believable if you used realistic numbers.

  23. jag1959 says:

    Can’t help but wonder if any of this would have been a topic, never mind an issue, if Paul Tagliabue were still commissioner.
    ======================================

    If he were commissioner in 2015 it would be the same. It’s all driven by the social media we have today. Did you ever hear people whining about training camp fights and “bullying” like it’s a national emergency before the internet and twitter?

  24. Kraft’s wouldn’t even being talking about this if not for their Golden Boy being in trouble…..next topic Johnny….and this time try to be sincere.

  25. I agree that the system seems to be broken. I agree that a neutral arbitrator should be in charge of all discipline. In fact, I think that should be in place for all businesses and workplaces. The arrogance of an employer feeling he has the right to enforce workplace discipline/rules is just plain abhorrent.
    The proper solution is to involve the US Congress and the President and pass laws appointing independent arbitrators for all employee/employer disagreements. Maybe it is time for government supervision of the rules of the NFL also.
    TU if the Senate should control the NFL, TD if the current system is better

  26. The owners did not get where they are by being stupid, save for the card carrying members of the lucky sperm club (Irsay, York for starters.)

    ______________________________

    Most of the league owners actually fall into this category, no? There’s a reason that folks like Jerry Jones, Robert Kraft, even Jerry Richardson (who’s a clown) command respect in the NFL’s hierarchy, it’s because they’re some of the few that didn’t luck into this money tree.

  27. He and nobody else seemed to care until it was Tom Brady being discipline. Suddenly though, when his player is found cheating, he whistles a new tune.

    The commissioner needs to have authority in these matters. In this I am speaking of the commissioner’s office and not specifically Roger Goodell. I believe anyone who occupies that position, for the good of the game, needs to have that absolute authority to preserve the integrity of the game. If he doesn’t, then why have a commissioner at all.

  28. Forgot to add..it is an eloquent statement, about re-thinking the way the discipline system is handled, I mean when did they sign it? 2011? That was the Ancient era.
    Plus the best player on his team is currently being hoisted by the results of the policy.
    It must be….Synchronicity.

  29. An American can’t get any more patriotic than to love the Patriots. The red, white, and blue Patriots truly are America’s team. Love America, love the Patriots. Goodell hates America.

  30. Kraft: The league has shown that they ridiculously think that the Patriots are subject to discipline. This has to change.

  31. Ever since that mess with the Saints went down I’ve been calling on Goodell to have certain aspects of his power stripped. Not all of it, but when it comes to discipline, there should be multiple people involved which if I were the commissioner, I would welcome for the fact that things were more balanced and you could avoid messes like these.

    That being said, this whole spin on what the NFL did right or wrong shouldn’t take away from the fact that there’s enough evidence that Tom Brady did in fact cheat and whatever Kraft Jr. thinks is so obviously irrelevant! Kraft Sr. always supported Goodell until his own team (and this is not the first time) got busted. Nothing that pops up (story wise) about the Patriots potentially cheating (in one way or another) would surprise me if it were true. This is an organization that has cheated multiple times and made no apology about bending the rules to win along with they’re arrogant owner, coach and starting quarterback who are some of the poorest losers I’ve ever seen, especially Belichick.

  32. The entire structure of the NFL/NFLPA needs to be re-worked. I believe a structure where the NFLPA has a rep (Smith) and the NFL rep (Goodell) report to someone (NFL Commissioner) who is totally arbitrary would be the best format. It’s clear to me that the present format is not fair and balanced (that’s not a reference to a TV network) but more in favor of the NFL owners. I think with a format like this you’d see one big change immediately and that would be the jettisoning of Roger Goodell from the NFL side. Good riddance. You could even make the Commissioner position more like a three judge panel where actual debate would occur and power wouldn’t rest with one individual.

  33. I guess the system is fine for the Patriots ..Unless something happens to them, funny how they are unhappy with Goodell now but when he destroyed the tapes from Spy Gate tapes for them they were cool with him then.. Hypocrites.

  34. cheatustobeatus says:
    Aug 23, 2015 1:13 PM
    the fact that there’s enough evidence that Tom Brady did in fact cheat
    —–
    Where? Maybe you can help a certain judge in new york find it, he seems to be having a problem finding any.

  35. mongo3401 says:
    Aug 23, 2015 12:37 PM
    Very eloquent way to say things need to change. I agree. One could also look at the constitution. It was written in a different time and place so to speak. Issues we are dealing with today were not even thought of when it was penned.
    =================
    Holy cow. The one is about the jackpots that young knuckle-head millionaires get themselves into and the 24-hour news cycle. Sure those situations change.

    The other is a historical masterpiece for running a country by balancing aspects of human nature, which never changes.

  36. An American can’t get any more patriotic than to love the Patriots. The red, white, and blue Patriots truly are America’s team. Love America, love the Patriots. Goodell hates America

    If you want Red, White, and Blue, root for the Bills. The Patriots are more Grey, Blue and Red now. Check out their helmets.

  37. Yeah, how about you don’t cheat and then the rules wouldn’t matter. I hate Goodell and think his handling of the league atrocious but this team is the only one that continuously finds itself in violation of rules pertaining to cheating so it’s not like it’s out of the blue that the team finds itself in this situation. Goodell needs to go and by the same token the Patriots* need to adhere to the rules and their fans need to stop acting like victims here, it’s obvious that the team has a cheating problem, change the culture and nobody will bother you.

  38. Or players/coaches could just, y’know, not cheat, then lie about it.

    With that said, until the Patriots**** are disbanded and removed, cheating and lying will always be part of the NFL, along with their apologists.

  39. The amount of meltdowns the Patriots cause from the whiny PFT masses is hilarious.

    Rent free in your domes. You can’t even stay away from melting down in an article about an owners son commenting on the League.

  40. “With that said, until the Patriots**** are disbanded and removed, cheating and lying will always be part of the NFL, along with their apologists.”

    Mmmmmelty. You should just change your name to “Mr.Chernobyl”

  41. Read between the lines folks. Jonathan is just letting us all know that Goodell’s days are numbered. The old guard, including his dad, misjudged Goodell. In the same way that no one that matters knew anything about the Ideal Gas Laws (until too late), so too did no one understand how much of a narcissist Goodell is, until too late.
    So Kraft the Younger is using the opportunity presented by all the recent legal screwups to speak for the owners, stating their new position. That is, we need a commissioner who is legally trained to address the issues of the future. Thank you for X years of remarkable service Roger. Please accept our deepest appreciation for all you have done and please accept this severance check for $100,000,000 and we wish you well in all your future endeavors. Tragically, that is how it will play out. How should it play out, you ask? Fire the bum and sue him for damaging the integrity of the shield.

  42. Now I can rest easy knowing that the alabaster-souled Patriots are going to lead the clean-up of the rules.

    They’re shocked. Shocked to find cheating going on here.

    Where was he right before that interview?
    He was in a policy meeting,
    he was planning new ways of cheating.

    Gotta change the system! Now that commissioner Sting has his Eye on you.
    Every single day every game you play.

  43. bjwbrown2011 says:
    Aug 23, 2015 12:31 PM
    Im sure if Brady had been fined he wouldnt have had an issue with the process.

    Not sure about that, but at least a fine would have been in line with the CBA. Your point seems to rest on “I’m sure if Goodell has followed the rules we wouldn’t need to change the system.” Well, maybe, but Goodell did what he did and that’s where we are. If Booth hadn’t shot Lincoln we might remember him as an actor, not an assassin.

    That Goodell has been abusing his powers underscores the fact that the NFL needs a system where power cannot be abused so easily. Giving the commissioner the powers to investigate, make “findings”, declare punishments, and hear appeals has concentrated too much power in one individual. That he has so much power has led to him taking on new powers beyond those granted by the CBA. And that’s led to a series of embarrassments in the court room.

    It’s become clear that the NFL does not do a good job of running investigations. If they have to spend $5 million to contrive a legal case in order to enforce a minor rules violation, they’re probably doing things wrong at a very fundamental level.

  44. Oh and what about Brady, you might also ask. Don’t worry about him. He wins in court, plays all 19 games with Pats again winning the SB and Tom winning the SB MVP.

  45. absodefinitely says:
    Aug 23, 2015 1:39 PM
    Yeah, how about you don’t cheat and then the rules wouldn’t matter.

    This doesn’t even make sense. If rules don’t matter, there’s no such thing as cheating.

    Here’s an idea: how about treating investigation seriously with rules of evidence and putting the power in the hands of people with legal training, instead of in the hands of a person with only PR training, who has no understanding of the law, but has dozens of reporters on speed dial for whenever he needs to put out an anonymous smear?

  46. FoozieGrooler says:
    Aug 23, 2015 1:27 PM
    Right Kraft – this isn’t about Tom Brady’s suspension…

    /eyeroll

    It’s not only about the suspension. You may have noticed that the NFL has lost three other court cases in the past twelve months, and the Rice case in particular was a public embarrassment. Goodell is still facing a contempt of court charge for not ordering a new arbitration hearing in the Peterson case.

  47. Put aside the fact that this was said by a Patriots executive for a second.

    Looking at how the league office has bungled player discipline over the past few years doesn’t something need to be done? Everyone says that Goodell is scared at being held to account for the too lenient punishment (like in the Ray Rice case) so he now overreaches. It really does not matter – punish too much or too little – it still means either way he is getting it wrong.

    Who would it hurt if the NFL brought in a few retired federal judges or others with legal backgrounds and strong reputations for impartiality to oversee the investigations, discipline and appeals? Heaven forbid they might actually get it right the first time, or at least close to right – something Goodell has proven time and time again that he is incapable of doing.

    It is simple, Goodell is power hungry and will not listen to reason. The league office is also stuffed full of yes men and boarders on corrupt. You need look no further than how he has ratcheted up the charges against Brady. Wells believed that Brady was generally aware, Goodell is now saying that Brady ran a conspiracy. If the case does not settle soon Goodell will soon be accusing Brady of being the second shooter on the Grassy Knoll.

  48. Every one here who mentions “how great things were under Tagliabue” needs to get a clue. Steroid use was much more rampant and NFL players were routinely beating women viciously while Tagliabue and the league looked the other way. And it was under Tagliabue that long term injuries from head trauma first started to be swept under the rug. Tagliabue never did anything of note during his time as commissioner.

  49. helmetcatch says:
    Aug 23, 2015 12:50 PM
    He was fine with it until now. Hypocrite.

    ___

    Sometimes it takes happening to you before you realize theres an issue. It happens all the time in life. Besides, how do you know he was “fine with it” before? Maybe he wasn’t in a place to do anything about it.

    The other side to it, is that Goodell is making a power grab, and the Pats are the only team right now, until the next CBA, that can challenge it.

  50. Integrity is defined as: The quality of being honest and having strong moral principles. The statement “The integrity of the NFL.” is an oxymoron. Wife beaters, drug users, drunks, child abusers are all welcome, if they are good enough athletes. The hypocrisy of anyone associated with the league, is unbelievable. We love our football, so let’s get back to the “wink and nudge” of the old days.

  51. Weird. I read the entire article thinking it was about Robert Kraft, not his son Jonathan. Very thoughtful and articulate, but asking some difficult questions. I think this is a good sign for Pats fans in the long term.

  52. All you people bashing on the Pats better look up the histories of your own teams. All 32 nfl teams have been caught doing naughty things over the years and all you holier than thou fans who act like your team are perfect little angels better think again.

  53. OK then, let’s say the owners Are trying to tell us something.
    Whyyyyy would they pick Anyone from the Pats organization to float the idea of discipline reform?
    That’s like recommending Eichmann be your moyel.

  54. how about stripping the league altogether of the power to diminish a team’s success by enacting ‘arbitrary & capricious’ penalties?

    (though ‘arbitrary & capricious’ doesn’t quite describe what the league is trying to do to the MIGHTY PATS, as much as ‘calculated & nefarious’)

  55. Mr. Florio, where was all of this backing to take away goodells power,maher the steelers were the only team to refuse to sign the CBA, or when Roethlisberger got 6 games without being charged, or when James Harrison was getting fined for looking at a QB sideways. I constantly hear you say players signed a contract, so they should have to play it out and not renegotiate. The players signed this CBA they are bound by it. Stop defending this so hard simply because it’s Brady. I find it hard to take you seriously when you’re just as inconsistent as the NFL officiating. The Florio we hear and see on SNF is the one I prefer. Seems to me you’re more objective on SNF than you are here on PFT.

  56. Sounds like the other owners told Bobby Kraft to shut up and stop whining when he gets busted cheating, so he’s letting his son do it instead. Kinda like when Fitz s his “dad” tweet for him…LO

  57. More Brady whining. The suspension can’t be served fast enough. You don’t want to be suspended, don’t conspire to cheat your opponents, it’s reall very simple.

  58. If Kraft spent as much time emphasizing to his team to follow the rules as he does trying to avoid the consequences of breaking them, he’d not be worried about that.

  59. “More Brady whining. The suspension can’t be served fast enough. You don’t want to be suspended, don’t conspire to cheat your opponents, it’s reall very simple.”

    Oh the irony. Rent free since ’01.

  60. tebowislife says:

    Tagliabue never did anything of note during his time as commissioner.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    that’s probably how it should be. on the other hand, after his tenure, he stood for justice and vacated penalties on the saints imposed by the clown who replaced him

  61. “If Kraft spent as much time emphasizing to his team to follow the rules as he does trying to avoid the consequences of breaking them, he’d not be worried about that.”

    You’ve spent seven months of your life melting down in every Patriots article on this website.

  62. If you have corrupt people that are compulsive liars in a decision making capacity you are just asking for trouble.

    Eventually the truth will come out and the fraud will rear its ugly head.

    When you have a corrupt scumbag like Goodell running things, the system may not be broke, however, when you have a scumbag running it and having total control over it, then of course it looks broken. Making discipline a random process in which punishments havent fit the crime thats the problem. Thats what happen when stupid people are in a decision making role

  63. pleasestopthesnow says:
    Aug 23, 2015 3:23 PM

    If you have corrupt people that are compulsive liars in a decision making capacity you are just asking for trouble.
    =======

    Agreed, which is why the NFL is finally trying to address the institutional cheating issues within the Patri*ts’ organization.

  64. Some comments on the comments.

    1. Its funny that about the same dozen Patriot hatters post the same posts every time there is a story on the posts. These knuckle dragging basement dwellers need to get a life.

    2. Truthprofessor brought up an excellent point about the fact fans have been slow to react to the truth of Goodell’s narcissistic egomania until he attacks THEIR team. I admit I fell into this category.

    3. There is a lot of criticism that Robert Kraft deserves for his support of Goodell even after cameraplacementgate and deflategate. BELIEVE me he took a lot of heat in NE and still does, despite is too late come to Jesus moment. His otherwise stellar legacy is going to be forever tarnished by his actions in this. Most fans can’t wait until Jonathan takes over.

    4. One of the biggest MYTHS I read about “cameraplacementgate” is that Goodell did the Pats a favor by destroying the tapes. NOTHING could be further from the truth.

    The fact is that those tapes were made public to the media before he destroyed them. There was NOTHING that gave a competitive advantage to the Pats on them. This is something Goodell himself said publicly a couple of times and never mentioned again.

    Destroying those tapes kept the Pats from proving this fact, and also led to the myth that they were destroyed to protect the Pats. Its a convenient myth, yet a myth nonetheless.

    5. #4 is almost as big a myth as the one that has the NFL offices doing the Pats all kinds of favors because Kraft has Goodell in his pocket. Unlike the Jets, the Pats don’t have any key former officials work on Park Ave, and I defy any of the haters to point out a single time where the NFL front offices did anything to protect their team.

    Rather it seems every time the Pats go and beat their team up, the NFL changes the rules to protect the weak and unprepared. 2 quick cases in point

    The Colts ran to the league to change the coverage rules because Peyton was having a problem with the physical play of the Pats secondary, (BTW he is STILL having problems) The Ravens ran crying to the League to change the eligible receiver rules because they couldn’t handle a Pats innovation.

    5. I think as fans of football we all can agree at this point, Roger Goodell is NOT good for the game and needs to go. Nothing illegal or untoward happened at the AFCCG. Even the bought and paid for Exponent Lab could only determine that the worst of the Pats ball were only deflated a quarter lb. below expectations, Most people aren’t aware of that because it was buried in the footnotes,

    6. But regardless of what you believe Goodell’s handling of this mess was a disaster for the league and believe me it will only get worse in the coming weeks, and probably drag on into next season as the NFL appeals their loser case (despite what.a disbarred ESPN “expert” thinks).

    I think as fans we ALL can come to the conclusion that Roger Goodell and his cronies on Park ave need to go and go soom

  65. sundaysundaysunday says:
    Aug 23, 2015 12:28 PM

    Where were you when the Saints got shafted?
    ———————————————————
    As a die hard patriots fan I feel for all Saints fans. They have a legitimate beef. This question is a good one. The NFL league office is out of control and needs to be reeled in. It may take years and a lot of back bone on the players part but they need to stand strong for a change to the CBA and demand neutral arbitration. But I don’t think the majority of players are willing to risk financially the possibility of a lockout and lost wages in an already short career for most players to earn substantial income. They would be fighting for future players as much or more than they would be for themselves. I don’t know if they have the stomach to do that.

  66. They don’t have to tweak anything. They need to scratch the PC rule entirely. Let the individual teams decided if a player is IN or OUT.

    As far as the league is concerned, non-football offenses should be a non-issue.

  67. What makes more sense?

    Pats’ explanation:

    There’s a huge conspiracy against the Pats that involves the NFL, Goodell, Wells, all the other owners and ESPN (and maybe the judicial system, but that remains to be seen)…

    Kraft is more worried about the NFL than his team so he keeps paying undue fines and giving up unwarranted draft picks…

    The other billionaire owners don’t care about their investment or the NFL and are willing to risk $millions or even $billions to frame the innocent Pats..

    The purported taping of signals was all legal but Belichick and Kraft apologized out of sportsmanship…

    Deflator is a weight loss nick name…

    In NE payment for doing a job honestly isn’t enough so Brady has to also give signed memorabilia…

    Text messages all need to be ignored…

    The ideal gas law applies more to Pats’ balls…

    Cutting fumbles in half and keeping them there after the rule change was a happy coincidence…

    No one knows the difference between a toilet and a urinal…

    Brady’s security process involves destroying random phones, but not all or even most, when he gets new ones…

    All the accusations are unfounded and made out of jealousy…

    Only ex Pat players can be relied upon for honest analysis…

    Anyone who disagrees with all the previous posts are part of the conspiracy…

    – or –

    The Pats have been cheating for years and despite behind the scenes lobbying by the NFL to stop, refuses to quit, so the other owners decided to risk a black eye and possible endorsements by publicly going after them.

    Which possibility involves tin foil hats?

    Cheers

  68. RegisHawk says:
    Aug 23, 2015 2:49 PM

    Sounds like the other owners told Bobby Kraft to shut up and stop whining when he gets busted cheating, so he’s letting his son do it instead. Kinda like when Fitz s his “dad” tweet for him…LO
    ———————————————————
    I’d love to have seen the look on your face the moment Malcom Butler picked off Wilson stomping your dream of back to back SB’s. I got a pretty good idea it was a lot like that loudmouthed fraud CB looked. Priceless and it will never go away. You know, the cheating roider/hgh user who got off on a technicality. Unlike the other five cheaters since 2011 caught using PED’s. Cheatin Pete Carroll as your coach it’s no wonder they lead the league in cheating scandal’s. Wonder when Petey will run off and leave the team to pick up the pieces of the franchise he will eventually leave in shambles.

  69. bjwbrown2011 says:
    Aug 23, 2015 12:31 PM

    Im sure if Brady had been fined he wouldnt have had an issue with the process.
    —————————–

    Probably not, since it would have been more appropriate to the situation. Still would have been BS, though, given all of the information that has been released.

  70. ebdug says:
    Aug 23, 2015 3:42 PM

    They don’t have to tweak anything. They need to scratch the PC rule entirely. Let the individual teams decided if a player is IN or OUT.

    As far as the league is concerned, non-football offenses should be a non-issue.
    ——————————

    If you let the teams decide, a player would never be out, unless they murdered someone. Even then it would depend on how valuable a player they were.

    Case in point, the Ravens with Ray Lewis and Ray Rice.

    What is it with guys named Ray up there?

  71. In the future, a best-selling movie will FOREVER PRESERVE the disgraceful actions of the current NFL office.

    The NFL is blinded by their environment (their perceived power and nobody is above them).

    Also, many folks in the media took a stand against the Patriots based on fake information. Because of job security, they wouldn’t change their views to reality.

    NFL office, breaking news: THIS IS AMERICA!

    The NFL thought they could wiggle around their official 19 Jan. letter to Mr. Kraft that stated all tested Colts’ footballs were within the permissible PSI ranges — INCREDIBLE and UNTRUE letter sent by the NFL.

    Then …. the TRUTH and WRATH of the Ideal Gas Law (IGL) deflated their paper ship.

    Is it surprising the Missouri Supreme Court, in a separate case, ruled in May, 2015 against Goodell and stated: ….“the terms of the contract designating the NFL commissioner, an employee of the team owners, as the sole arbitrator with unfettered discretion to establish the rules for arbitration are unconscionable and, therefore, unenforceable”.

    Finally, who made the decision at halftime to STOP testing the Colts’ remaining 8 footballs (only four balls tested, 3 found deflated)?

  72. So now we live in the modern era and things need to change ? Your world may have changed a bit since Brady’s suspension was announced. But don’t throw the rest of the world in there.

  73. sundaysundaysunday says:
    Aug 23, 2015 12:28 PM
    Where were you when the Saints got shafted?

    —–

    Honestly? We still believed that the NFL was doing things more or less right.

    And for that, I apologize. After this last season’s problems over domestic abuse and then the sham that has become deflategate, it’s obvious I was wrong.

    I would like nothing better than for the books to be re-opened on both the Saints and the Dolphins and see what really happened. What was allowed into the reports, and more importantly, what was kept out to make the punishments stick.

    I, for one, until Goodell is thrown out (and beyond until proven otherwise), will always automatically side with whatever player or team is getting dumped on until I see impartial, definitive evidence suggesting whatever happened, actually happened. If it’s from the NFL, I know it’s slanted or straight up lies to further their own agenda.

  74. Of course things need to change, unless you think it is normal that Goodellbot finds himself losing in Federal court all the time.

  75. edgarpoe3 says:
    Aug 23, 2015 1:08 PM

    He and nobody else seemed to care until it was Tom Brady being discipline. Suddenly though, when his player is found cheating, he whistles a new tune.

    The commissioner needs to have authority in these matters. In this I am speaking of the commissioner’s office and not specifically Roger Goodell. I believe anyone who occupies that position, for the good of the game, needs to have that absolute authority to preserve the integrity of the game. If he doesn’t, then why have a commissioner at all.
    ——————————-

    That sounds great and all, but you can’t have a commissioner that is as arbitrary and capricious as Goodellbot has been.

    That, and you can’t have a fair appeal process when the arbitrator is the guy that handed down the punishment.

  76. mmack66 says:

    If you let the teams decide, a player would never be out, unless they murdered someone. Even then it would depend on how valuable a player they were.

    Case in point, the Ravens with Ray Lewis and Ray Rice.

    What is it with guys named Ray up there?

    Some will, some won’t. If they ain’t in jail, put them on the field.

  77. This all changes soon. There will be a new commissioner handing out the 2015 SuperBowl and SuperBowl MVP awards to the Patriots and Brady. That commissioner will know how to stay in the background and let football be front and center again, as it always should have been. There is absolutely no one, except of course Roger Goodell, that thinks its appropriate that Roger Goodell is a household name. You don’t do anything for the game Roger. So get off the camera.
    He won’t of course. That’s just how narcissists are. Sad little man living his sad little life.
    I am certain that even Limakey agrees with me on this. I think.

  78. What Johnathon Kraft said is absolutely true and has been needed for a long time. The one problem that I have, with his statement, is the way he said it. I wouldn’t call it eloquent i think carefully worded is more accurate. So when any owners have something that contradicts the commissioner, they have to handle it with kids gloves.

    Attempting to passively make any point or changes, this approach will never work. The problem is you’re trying to talk to a guy that believes a sledge hammer is the best way to peel a hard boiled egg.

    I also noted a lot of fans saying that now that fans of the Pats are watching their team get screwed, just shut up and take it. Yes, other teams have been screwed by this commissioner, with zero public outrage outside of the screwed teams fanbase. Those fans have a right to be upset for lack of support when it was their team getting unjustly punished, but at some points the fans of the game have to set our team loyalty and the hate of other teams, aside. The NFL is being operated atrociously and only way it will change is, if we, the fans of the sport make a united stand against incompetence. Plus those fans have to remember that as much media coverage as there was for their teams unjust punishment, it is dwarfed by the coverage of this fiasco.

    I’m not a fan of Brady or the Pats but what has happened to them has shed a lot of light on how Goodell operates. I admit that I didn’t look into the details of previous miscarriages of justice. I wish I had but I didnt. All this stuff has been going on way too long and it has to stop. I’m asking fans to set aside the ” our team got screwed so other teams just need to deal with it” attitude so we can voice our opinion as football fans to urge change.

  79. whitetrash69 says:
    Aug 23, 2015 4:52 PM

    This guy is a nobody, his old man is a complete laughing stock. Nobody cares what you think.
    —————————

    Who are you to judge anyone?

  80. Here, here, mongo3401!
    And with these statements, we hear Kraft separate from the commissioner and goodells scorched earth policy of protecting the shield at all costs. It’s only a matter of time before Krafts comments carry weight with other owners and Goodells feet are held to the fire.

  81. Just remember this is the same NFL that allowed the Mara family to meddle into “rules violations” and without any credibility, arbitrarily and capriciously created out of thin air a salary cap in an uncapped year and allowed the New York Nightmaras to benefit by penalizing two division rivals.

    I don’t give a flying monkey whether other teams’ ox are gored. You allowed a huge rules violation to go unpunished so now deal with your wet bed.

  82. limakey says:
    Aug 23, 2015 5:31 PM
    If the NFLPA adopted a zero tolerance for domestic abuse and substance abuse this would be all over.

    ———-

    What about a player in Denver that inhales second hand marijuana or what if a woman falsely causes a player of domestic abuse because she intends to ruin his career or extort money.

    Zero tolerance would have to be very sure of outcomes legally before taking action on suspensions. Leave personal conduct policy would be useless for making that type of decision.

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