At the NFL owner's meetings, Patriots owner Robert Kraft held a press conference today and announced some big news: the Patriots will accept the penalties for deflategate, albeit "reluctantly." Kraft said that he supports Goodell and that, while he thinks the process took way too long and he disagrees with the decision, he doesn't want to continue this saga and will not appeal but rather accept the penalties.
The Patriots were fined $1 million (the largest fine ever handed out in NFL history) and were docked their first round draft pick next year and their fourth round draft pick in 2016 for their role in deflating footballs, while quarterback Tom Brady was suspended four games as the Wells Report found that he was at least aware of what was going on. The Patriots will accept the fine and the loss of draft picks, but Brady's appeal is up to the NFLPA and not the Patriots. According to the NFLPA's George Atallah, the Patriots' decision to accept the penalties doesn't have any impact on the current appeal of Brady's suspension.
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">The Patriots may not appeal, but this will not impact the NFLPA appeal of the 4 game suspension of Tom Brady.</p>— George Atallah (@GeorgeAtallah) <a href="https://twitter.com/GeorgeAtallah/status/600711639122468864">May 19, 2015</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>
Upon hearing Kraft's decision to accept the penalties, I immediately wondered whether there was some sort of agreement between him and Roger Goodell to reduce Brady's suspension, and while that's complete speculation, there are others who are wondering the same thing. As it currently stands, Brady's first game back would be against the Colts, but there's a real possibility that his suspension could be reduced (most likely to two games instead of four).