Legal expert: Pats have case to recoup draft picks, $1M fine

The next order of business for Robert Kraft and the Patriots is to get back the lost draft picks and $1 million fine imposed upon the team.
Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

By Doug Kyed

It’s great that Tom Brady’s four-game suspension was vacated and all, but uh, what about those draft picks?

New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft didn’t do himself any favors by accepting the NFL’s punishment in May. The Patriots could still recoup their 2016 first-round draft pick, 2017 fourth-rounder and $1 million fine, though they face an uphill battle, according to Sports Illustrated legal analyst Michael McCann.

“Judge Berman’s harsh rebuke of NFL justice makes me wonder if Robert Kraft will demand the NFL reconsider its steep punishment of his team,” McCann tweeted Thursday after Brady’s ruling was announced by U.S. District Court Judge Richard Berman.

“Robert Kraft would face an improbable legal fight since he accepted the punishment,” McCann continued. “But he could argue acceptance is void if he was misled.”

The Patriots haven’t discussed appealing the NFL’s punishment, however,’s Tom E. Curran reported Thursday. Curran “got (a) clear sense they probably won’t, given Kraft’s stating in SF he was standing down.”

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