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Patriots To 'Accept Reluctantly' NFL's 'Deflategate' Punishment

New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft shows the Vince Lombardi Trophy to the crowd during a parade in Boston on Feb. 4. He said Tuesday his team won't appeal the punishment handed to it by the NFL in connection with the "Deflategate" scandal.

New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft said his team will accept the punishment handed to it by the NFL in connection with the "Deflategate" scandal.

Speaking Tuesday at the owners meeting in San Francisco, Kraft said the Super Bowl champions will "accept reluctantly" the penalties meted out this month by the National Football League. The NFL fined the team $1 million and stripped it of a first-round draft pick in 2016 and a fourth-round pick in 2017.

"I have two options — I can end it or extend it," Kraft said. "At no time should the agenda of one team outweigh the collective good of the 32."

Patriots quarterback Tom Brady said last week he was appealing his four-game suspension in connection with the scandal.

As we reported at the time, an NFL report found it was "more probable than not" that the quarterback knew of what has come to be known as "Deflategate," in which Brady was accused of using underinflated footballs during last season's AFC Championship Game. The Patriots won that game and went on to win the Super Bowl.

As Bill reported last week, the Patriots published their own findings on the controversy and put "forth the idea that when two members of the Patriots' stadium staff used the term 'deflate,' they were talking about losing weight — not about breaking the NFL's rules on football inflation, as the league says."

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