BOSTON (CBS) — With the return of Tom Brady, the DeflateGate saga is officially over for the New England Patriots.
Team president Jonathan Kraft joined 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Patriots Preview on Sunday, and said everyone in the organization is happy to move on and look forward.
“There’s nothing else to talk about. It’s over. We have to take any emotions around that and channel them to being productive on the football field,” Kraft told The Sports Hub’s Marc Bertrand ahead of Brady’s return against the Cleveland Browns on Sunday. “We’ve talked about the whole thing a lot; let’s talk about moving forward. I’ve expressed my feelings on that in the past, and it’s over. Not having Tom for four weeks, that wasn’t pleasant, but for me, rising above it is what Tom Brady, the individual, had to deal with in this process. I thought [his suspension] was patently unfair.”
Kraft is still upset that Brady’s image has taken a hit due to the suspension four-game suspension.
“The biggest negative of this whole process is a guy that, as we talked about, should be on the pedestal of what an athlete should be in every way shape and form had to deal with this process and had his name associated with something that was unfair,” he said, shifting the conversation to Brady’s return to Foxboro this week. “It was great to have him back. Everyone is looking forward and hopefully we have a productive day on the field today.
“Everyone was just excited he was back and getting focused on looking forward, not backwards. Rest assured no one was worried about him putting in the time and staying in shape, doing what he needed to do to hit the ground running,” he said. “It was a positive week and everyone is focused on this game. What happened has been rehashed over and over again.”
Listen to the full interview, including Kraft’s thoughts on Rob Gronkowski’s slow start and the NFL fining players for on-field celebrations: