Kraft 'disappointed' with decision to decertify

Kraft 'disappointed' with decision to decertify

By Tom E. CurranHere's a statement from Patriots owner Robert Kraft on the lockout. AOLMsgPart_2_68591eab-3bf3-4994-b2f2-1cc5ba6b6e38 tdcolor: black; @font-face font-family:"Cambria Math"; panose-1:2 4 5 3 5 4 6 3 2 4; @font-face font-family:Calibri; panose-1:2 15 5 2 2 2 4 3 2 4; AOLMsgPart_2_68591eab-3bf3-4994-b2f2-1cc5ba6b6e38 p.MsoNormal,AOLMsgPart_2_68591eab-3bf3-4994-b2f2-1cc5ba6b6e38 li.MsoNormal,AOLMsgPart_2_68591eab-3bf3-4994-b2f2-1cc5ba6b6e38 div.MsoNormal margin:0in; margin-bottom:.0001pt; font-size:12.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman","serif"; AOLMsgPart_2_68591eab-3bf3-4994-b2f2-1cc5ba6b6e38 a:link,AOLMsgPart_2_68591eab-3bf3-4994-b2f2-1cc5ba6b6e38 span.MsoHyperlink mso-style-priority:99; color:blue; text-decoration:underline; AOLMsgPart_2_68591eab-3bf3-4994-b2f2-1cc5ba6b6e38 a:visited,AOLMsgPart_2_68591eab-3bf3-4994-b2f2-1cc5ba6b6e38 span.MsoHyperlinkFollowed mso-style-priority:99; color:purple; text-decoration:underline; AOLMsgPart_2_68591eab-3bf3-4994-b2f2-1cc5ba6b6e38 p.msochpdefault,AOLMsgPart_2_68591eab-3bf3-4994-b2f2-1cc5ba6b6e38 li.msochpdefault,AOLMsgPart_2_68591eab-3bf3-4994-b2f2-1cc5ba6b6e38 div.msochpdefault mso-style-name:msochpdefault; mso-margin-top-alt:auto; margin-right:0in; mso-margin-bottom-alt:auto; margin-left:0in; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman","serif"; AOLMsgPart_2_68591eab-3bf3-4994-b2f2-1cc5ba6b6e38 span.emailstyle18 mso-style-name:emailstyle18; font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif"; color:1F497D; AOLMsgPart_2_68591eab-3bf3-4994-b2f2-1cc5ba6b6e38 span.EmailStyle20 mso-style-type:personal-reply; font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif"; color:1F497D; AOLMsgPart_2_68591eab-3bf3-4994-b2f2-1cc5ba6b6e38 .MsoChpDefault mso-style-type:export-only; font-size:10.0pt; @page WordSection1 size:8.5in 11.0in; margin:1.0in 1.0in 1.0in 1.0in; AOLMsgPart_2_68591eab-3bf3-4994-b2f2-1cc5ba6b6e38 div.WordSection1 page:WordSection1; Statement from Patriots Chairman and CEO Robert Kraft: "Going into these union negotiations, I was very optimistic that an agreement could be reachedbefore the end of December if both sides were committed to the negotiations. The same was trueas we approachedthe end of the NFL calendar year. We are fortunate to be operating in an industry that is thriving and I know that there was a deal to be done that was a win-win for both sides.I know thatCommissioner Goodell and his staff invested a tremendous amount of time and resources to negotiate an agreementthat wouldbenefitboth parties and allow the league to continue to build for the future without interruption.I remained in constant contact with Roger and the members of the CEC this week andfully supported the proposal we made to the players' union on Friday.I think the actions of the union to end the mediation processand walk away fromFriday's offer clearly showed their true intentions to take this process to litigation all along. While disappointed by their action to decertify, I remain confident thatan agreement will be reached and that the 2011 season will be played. I know that the owners are committed to this process, butthat the quickest way to do so is through continued negotiation, not litigation. For the sake of all involved, the owners, the players and most importantly, the fans,I hope we return to the negotiating table very soon."
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Kraft OK with the idea of a Raiders move to Las Vegas

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Kraft OK with the idea of a Raiders move to Las Vegas

Robert Kraft doesn't seem all that concerned about the potential pitfalls of having an NFL franchise in Las Vegas.

The temptations found in that city, he says, can now be found around any dark corner of the Internet. That's part of the reason why he would be supportive of the Raiders if owner Mark Davis chose to move the team to Vegas from Oakland. 

He explained his reasoning to NFL Media's Judy Battista at the league's annual spring meetings on Tuesday. 

"I think we can put the discipline and controls in [for] whatever anyone might be worried about," Kraft said. "With the Internet and the age of the Internet and what's going on in today's world, it's so much different than when I came in 20 odd years ago. If you'd like to move there and they're supportive and Oakland doesn't do what they should do, I'm behind them."

The comments echoed what Kraft told USA Today earlier this week.

"I came into the league in ’94," Kraft said. "Back then, any exploration of that market was dismissed out of hand. I’m looking where we are today and thinking of the last 10 to 15 years, and the emergence of new media, with Google and Facebook and the like. We’re just living in a different world, technology-wise. The [sports gambling] risks in Vegas are no longer exclusive to Vegas. Whatever the risks, they are no greater [in Las Vegas] than playing a game in New Jersey."

Davis' hope to move the Raiders stems from an inability to get a deal done for a new stadium in Oakland.

"I have given my commitment to Las Vegas," Davis said this week, "and if they can get done what they're talking about doing, then we will go to Las Vegas."

Curran: Roger The Dodger continues his evasive maneuvers

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Curran: Roger The Dodger continues his evasive maneuvers

Roger Goodell is doing that damn thing again down in North Carolina this afternoon.

The NFL commissioner -- who once could carry off a press conference with a breezy, in-command air -- came off like a carrot-topped armadillo talking to reporters at the end of the May owner’s meetings in Charlotte.

Defensive, clipped and disingenuous, a monotone-speaking Goodell was asked about Deflategate and Monday’s Congressional report that alleged the NFL had lobbyists trying to pressure concussion researchers into using NFL-approved doctors.

Asked about the appeal for a rehearing of Tom Brady’s case on Monday, Goodell said, “I respect the NFLPA’s ability to appeal if they choose to do that . . . I’m not really focused on that at all.”

Goodell did not answer the second part of the question, whether or not he’d keep Tom Brady off the field if the court case was unresolved.

The answer, one can only presume would be, “Abso-friggin-lutely.”

As for the Congressional report, Goodell had the gall to answer that he “didn’t see the report.”

He then went on to disagree with what was in the report -- meaning his initial response was less than candid.

A few more minutes of short answers and the show was over with nobody much the wiser than when he began. 

Kraft on Deflategate: 'The whole thing has been mishandled'

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Kraft on Deflategate: 'The whole thing has been mishandled'

At the NFL's brief annual spring meeting, which typically lasts about 24 hours, Patriots chairman and CEO Robert Kraft provided some equally brief remarks about his quarterback. 

Asked for some comment on Tom Brady's legal situation, Kraft told NFL Media's Judy Battista a version of what he has been saying for the last few months as it relates to Deflategate.

"We've been behind him," Kraft said, "and the whole thing has been mishandled, in my opinion. It's unfortunate, and we hope he prevails."

The NFLPA and Brady's legal team filed a petition to the Second Circuit on Monday requesting that he be granted a rehearing. The Second Circuit reinstated Brady's four-game suspension upon appeal earlier this offseason.