In the past week, fans of the New England Patriots drew up a formalized petition on Change.org in an effort to get back the teams first and fourth-round draft picks the NFL seized because of Deflategate.
The complaint, filed to the office of Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Haley, states the following argument.
MA CONSUMER COMPLAINT Filed 2015/02/05 UNDER MA GENERAL LAWS 93A (Section 2 & Section 2a):
On behalf of Consumers of the National Football League (NFL) in MA, I/we claim that the NFL has breached Chapter 93A, Section 2 & 2a of the MA General (Consumer) Laws by wrongfully taking away the 1st and 4th round draft picks (2016) of the New England Patriots, who were absolved of wrongdoing (see Ted Wells Report re: Team & coaches [lack of] involvement). …
By denying the team of aforementioned draft picks as punishment without guilt, the NFL has, in essence, created an unfair method of competition for the Patriots and the consumer, when compared to the other 31 NFL franchises and consumers who likewise, have not warranted such punishment. …
We hereby assert that the NFL’s action of taking away the two draft picks of the New England Patriots, without warrant, has unfairly altered the competitive fairness and consumer expectations of same!
The petition has 4,777 signatures of 5,000 at the time of this posting. The discussion of the Patriots now-forfeited 2016 picks has started to garner more attention as the NFL Draft nears in April.
Peter King of Sports Illustrated, wrote a piece for Monday Morning Quarterback today calling for NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to give the picks back to New England but explained why he wont.
The following below is a small portion of Kings article.
“It’s been nine months since commissioner Roger Goodell suspended Tom Brady four games, fined the Patriots $1 million and took away a first-round pick in the 2016 draft and a fourth-round pick in 2017 for the deflated footballs incident at the 2014 AFC Championship Game. The story will be back in the news next week, when the NFL’s appeal of the smackdown of the Brady suspension will be heard in a New York courtroom.
But the effect of the case will be felt in Indianapolis this week, when the New England Patriots’ delegation arrives for the combine missing something invaluable to the care and feeding of NFL franchises. Namely, the 29th pick in this draft, docked from the Patriots by Goodell. This leaves New England with no draft picks in the top 59 of an above-average draft. No one has really focused recently on the enormity of the draft-pick sanction. Last year, with the 32nd and 131st picks (the 2017 fourth-rounder likely will be around No. 130 overall), the Patriots took two players (Malcom Brown and Shaq Mason) who started in the AFC title game—two of 22 starters in their biggest game of the year.”
With the Patriots having a glaring need for offensive line help this off-season, and no first round pick to assist them, it remains unclear how the team will address the issue. Any such reversal of the punishment is unlikely after owner Robert Kraft formally accepted the Deflategate punishment back in May 2015 at the owners meetings.
“Although I might disagree what is decided, I do have respect for [commissioner Roger Goodell] and believe that he’s doing what he perceives to be in the best interests of [all 32 teams] so in that spirit, I don’t want to continue the rhetoric that’s gone on for the last four months…I’m going to accept, reluctantly, what he has given to us and not continue this dialogue and rhetoric. We won’t appeal.”
Posted Under: Patriots Commentary
Tags: DeflateGate Roger Goodell