Patriots

Patriots

It wasn't only Matt Patricia donning Barstool Sports' Roger-Goodell-as-a-clown t-shirt that irked the commissioner, but Robert Kraft's postgame podium declaration of the Patriots' fifth Super Bowl title being the "sweetest" of them all has NFL executives seething, too, reports Jason LaCanfora of CBSSports.com.

As the Patriots got off the plane from Houston after the Super Bowl victory, Patricia, the Patriots defensive coordinator, was sporting the light blue t-shirt featuring Goodell with a clown nose, sold by the outfit the commissioner claimed he'd never heard of. 

From LaCanfora's story: 

The T-shirt really bothered him," according to one ownership source who had been in contact with big wigs at the league office. "The fact that Kraft didn't stop him from wearing that ticked some people off, but did they really think he's going to protect Goodell after all of this?

On the podium, Kraft never referred to Deflategate or Tom Brady's NFL-imposed four-game suspension specifically as he accepted the Lombardi Trophy from Goodell, who, before handing the trophy to Kraft, was booed mercilessly by fans after the Patriots' comeback win Sunday night. The Patriots owner talked about how "a lot has transpired" over the past two years and how this title was "unequivocally the sweetest one of all."

 

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LaCanfora reports Kraft's statement ruffled feathers on at the NFL offices at 345 Park Avenue in New York. He also wrote that Kraft wants NFL counsel Jeff Pash out. Pash was a key figure for the league's case against Tom Brady and the Patriots in Deflategate. 

"Robert still wants Pash out," another ownership source told LaCanfora. "The only way there will ever be a full reconnect between the Patriots and Goodell is if Pash was no longer there."