Robert Kraft: Tom Brady told me he’s innocent

New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft continues to lash out against the NFL for its Deflategate punishment because he has unwavering trust in his quarterback.

Kraft, who’s already in San Francisco for the NFL Spring Meeting — where he’ll be face-to-face with commissioner Roger Goodell and the other 31 team owners — told theMMQB.com’s Peter King that he believes Patriots quarterback Tom Brady had no knowledge of deflated footballs.

“Yes. Because we had the discussion: ‘If you did it, let’s just deal with it and take our hit and move on,’” Kraft said. “I’ve known Tommy 16 years, almost half his life. He’s a man, and he’s always been honest with me, and I trust him. I believed what he told me. He has never lied to me, and I have found no hard or conclusive evidence to the contrary.”

Kraft doesn’t believe Ted Wells treated the Patriots fairly in his report, and the Patriots owner believes the NFL’s discipline — taking a first-round draft pick in 2016, a fourth-rounder in 2017 and a $1 million fine — wasn’t fair.

“I just get really worked up,” Kraft said. “To receive the harshest penalty in league history is just not fair. The anger and frustration with this process, to me, it wasn’t fair. If we’re giving all the power to the NFL and the office of the commissioner, this is something that can happen to all 32 teams. We need to have fair and balanced investigating and reporting. But in this report, every inference went against us … inferences from ambiguous, circumstantial evidence all went against us. That’s the thing that really bothers me.

“If they want to penalize us because there’s an aroma around this? That’s what this feels like. If you don’t have the so-called smoking gun, it really is frustrating. And they don’t have it. This thing never should have risen to this level.”

King asked Kraft about his relationship with Goodell, which could be understandably frosty after last Monday’s discipline. Kraft passed the question on to Goodell.

“You’ll have to ask him,” Kraft said.

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Kraft also wouldn’t say whether the Patriots, who released a rebuttal to the Wells Report on Thursday, plan to go to court to get their punishments overturned. He also wouldn’t explain why Patriots staffers John Jastremski and Jim McNally were suspended, despite them being exonerated in the Patriots’ “The Wells Report in Context” document.

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