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Matt Stone/Boston Herald
Patriots owner Robert Kraft spoke to the media today about a number of things from the owners meeting in Phoenix, ranging from Deflate-Gate to Darrelle Revis leaving.

On Deflate-Gate, per the Boston Herald:
How are things between you and the league right now and your relationship with Roger? Last time you were here, you weren’t too happy with way things were going with underinflated footballs.
“I want to clarify. First of all, I think when I spoke a week before the Super Bowl, I was speaking to the league office. He’s in charge. I think he has a pretty tough job. As a matter of fact, some of my friends say ‘There are two jobs I don’t want, president of the United States or commissioner of the NFL.’ He has a very hard job and I think he does a very fine job at what he does. It’s tough. But he needs to make sure all the people working in the system are also doing it.”

Where do things stand with them?
“You’ll have to ask them. I don’t know. I have had no discussions on that.”

Are you OK with the pace of this investigation; how long this has taken?
“I like to worry about things I can control. I know that there is no smoking gun here. I chatted with our people; I think I said it pretty well the week before the Super Bowl. We’re worried about the 2015 season and that’s our focus.”

On Darrelle Revis:

Where do things stand with tampering charge vs. Jets?
“You’ll have to ask the league office. That’s something they are responsible for.”

What led up to the decision not to exercise the option on Revis. I know there was an agreement on that prior to the contract with him…
“There was an agreement prior to the contract? You know something I don’t know.”

That’s what I was told…
“I don’t know who your source is, but that’s news to me.”

The decision he’s now a Jet; how close did you come to making an offer he might accept?
“We thought we made a very competitive offer. I speak as a fan of the New England Patriots, we wanted to keep him. We wanted him in our system, and we have certain disciplines. We had hoped it worked out. It didn’t. We just don’t think about short-term decisions. For example, next year we have three very good young defensive players coming up and we have to factor that. We just don’t look at this year; we look out at the next few years. We’ve done OK doing that. As a fan, in March and April, I hate to lose him. But our real focus is what goes on in the fall and winter. I put my faith and respect with Bill. We have a lot of discussions and he’s done pretty good the last 15 years. The fan in me argues all the time with him. But he has a pretty good record.”

How close did you come to what he ended up accepting?
“I think we made a very competitive offer. And I must say this, because I see how our situation [has been] with Vince [Wilfork]; that’s the team that drafted him. I don’t know, I think he feels a great commitment there, so we understand going back. We’re sorry he didn’t stay with us.”

How do you feel about facing him twice a year?
“We’ll see what happens. We understand that. He’s a great player. The fan in me wishes he were still us.”

Were you willing to pay, the extra millions of dollars to match the Jets offer and bring him back? Did Bill talk you out of it?
“No, I listen to what he says. We discuss things thoroughly, but he has done a pretty good job. Once again, the emotion and fan in me, you want to keep all the good players and we have a salary cap. I know what it’s like when you lose a game in the fall and the winter, so the emotion of the spring has to have some discipline if you want to be good long-term. I think he’s proven to be a pretty good manager of our resources.”

Kraft went back to Deflate-Gate briefly, answering questions about if the investigation would damage the Patriots brand. His answer? In a nutshell, "we won the Super Bowl - you guys decide." Well played, sir. Now if only the league would stop dragging its feet. Probably too much to ask, though.

Conor Frederick 3/24/2015 11:39:00 AM Edit
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