Robert Kraft, saying "I pray and desire" that the National Football League restore to the Patriots the draft picks it took away as part of the Deflategate penalty, said he wrote a letter to commissioner Roger Goodell at the end of the season explaining why he feels the picks should be returned.
"I personally wrote a letter to the commissioner responding to his comment that if any new facts came up, he would take them into consideration," Kraft told reporters at the NFL Annual Meeting in Boca Raton, Fla.
"I personally believe that when the league made their decision they did not factor in the Ideal Gas Law. They admitted that publicly. They had a full year of observing Tom Brady play with all the rules of whatever the NFL was and make any judgments there. We have laid it out pretty pretty straight forward, and now it's up to them to decide."
Though Kraft hinted that there still could be a decision coming from the NFL, he chose not to comment much further on how the NFL responded to his letter, or if he's expecting any kind of response.
When asked if Goodell replied to the letter, Kraft paused for a few seconds before saying, "I'm moving on from that as well."
Kraft insisted that he and the rest of the organization were trying to focus on the 2016 season. He was happy about having the opportunity to give Brady a two-year extension earlier this offseason, and he was excited to have made a trade to acquire tight end Martellus Bennett.
Knowing that the topic du jour was the first-round pick he lost in this year's draft, the Patriots chairman and CEO did take a moment to relay to fans that he and his team had done all they could to retrieve it.
"We've done everything we can do," he said. "Actually, I want our fans to know that I empathize with the way they feel. There's no one who wants every edge and put this team in the best position we can do to win [more than me]. I just say, you think of the 34 years before we bought the team, and how we just finished 22 years, and we've had the privilege of going to 11 conference championship games. That's one every other year. I think eight teams in this period have never gone to a championship game."
The NFL docked New England its first-round pick in 2016 and its fourth-round pick in 2017, and also slapped the franchise with a hefty fine, in the Deflategate case. The Patriots, while maintaining their innocence, at first reluctantly accepted the penalties; later, Kraft said he "was wrong" to do so.
Asked if there was any momentum among other league owners to help the Patriots earn their picks back, Kraft chuckled.
"I don't think you'll see any momentum among our peers," he said. "I wish they would because they could be in a similar position, but we have put our best case forward and that's in the league's hands now."