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Roger Goodell denies Patriots’ request to get 2016 NFL Draft pick returned

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, right, and New England

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, right, and New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, left, address members of the media during a football safety clinic for mothers, Thursday, May 29, 2014 at the team's facilities in Foxborough, Mass. Credit: AP

BOCA RATON, Fla. — NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said Wednesday the Patriots would not have their 2016 first-round draft choice returned after a written request by team owner Robert Kraft to have the pick reinstated.

Goodell ordered last year that the Patriots surrender a first-round pick in 2016 and a fourth-round choice in 2017, as well as a $1-million fine, as a result of an investigation into the team’s alleged scheme to purposely deflate the footballs used in the first half of the 2015 AFC Championship Game.

Goodell said he received a letter from Kraft a few weeks ago asking for the first-round pick back, but that he told the owner he had decided against the request. Kraft told reporters on Monday that he made the request but did not say whether he had received an answer.

Goodell said Wednesday that he let the team know he would not rescind any of the punishment handed down to the team. Goodell suspended Patriots quarterback Tom Brady four games over Deflategate, but Brady had the penalty overturned in federal court last August. The NFL has since appealed that decision and is awaiting a verdict from the Second Circuit Court of Appeals.

“I did receive the letter from Robert, and I responded to him two weeks ago,” Goodell told reporters in a news conference at the conclusion of the league’s annual spring meeting. “I told him that I had considered his views, and I didn’t think there was any new information.”

Kraft told reporters Monday that he “personally wrote a letter to the commissioner responding to his comment that if any new facts came up, he would take them into consideration. And I personally believe that when the league made their decision, they did not factor in the ideal gas law. They admitted that publicly.

“They’ve had a full year of being able to observe Tom Brady play with all the rules of whatever the NFL was and make any judgments there, and we have laid it out pretty straightforward, and now it’s up to them to decide.”

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