BOCA RATON, Fla. (AP) — New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft has asked the NFL to reinstate the draft picks the team lost in the deflated footballs investigation stemming from the 2014 AFC title game.
Kraft said Monday at the owners' meetings that he sent a letter to Commissioner Roger Goodell more than a month ago seeking a return of the two picks — a first-rounder this year and a fourth-rounder in 2017. He did not say if Goodell responded.
But Kraft didn't sound optimistic that the picks would be returned, or that quarterback Tom Brady's four-game suspension would be rescinded should an appeals court rule in favor of the league in the saga dubbed "Deflategate." Brady had the suspension overturned in an earlier court case before the NFL appealed.
In his letter, Kraft cited new evidence uncovered since the NFL investigation ended.
"I personally believe that when the league made their decision, they did not factor in the ideal gas law," Kraft said. "They admitted that publicly. They had a full year of being able to observe Tom Brady play with all the rules of whatever the NFL was, and make any judgments there. We have laid it out pretty straightforward. And now it's up for them to decide.
"They did their own testing; they have results, and for whatever reason, they haven't shared them with any of us. We actually requested at the beginning of the season that they test every game throughout the league, but they chose to do it their way."
The NFL randomly tested the air in footballs before games last season but hasn't released the information.
New England also was fined $1 million and Kraft said last May he would not fight that sanction in hopes of "tuning down the rhetoric."
Kraft said he does not sense any surge of support for the Patriots in the case.
"I don't think you'll see any momentum among our peers," Kraft said. "I wish they would, because they could be in a similar position."
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