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Robert Kraft’s Saturday statement has NFL implications

Florida Football Insiders

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John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

The latest chapter in the soap opera of Patriots owner Robert Kraft and his legal problems with two solicitation of prostitution charges in South Florida doesn’t just involve his possible plea deal. Rather, this chapter involves the implications around his looming suspension from the National Football League for his behavior.

Kraft released a carefully worded statement Saturday afternoon that made no formal admission of guilt against the January criminal charges in Palm Beach County. However, the statement basically concedes Kraft was engaged in inappropriate and embarassing sexual behavior and contact with women inside the “Orchids of Asia” spa and massage parlor in Jupiter.

And in doing so, Kraft has basically put himself in position for the NFL to level discipline against him.

Consider that the NFL has previous precedent of Bucs QB Jameis Winston having been suspended the first three games of last season for inappropriate sexual contact with a female Uber driver in Arizona 3 years ago without being criminally charged. And, two years ago Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott received a six-game suspension for alleged domestic violence, while also never having been charged.

So, it’s obvious the NFL can take action without the criminal justice system having played out in the 77 year-old Patriots owners favor.

Kraft’s lawyers may be successful in the short term in getting the charges reduced or dropped. The next scheduled date in the case is this Thursday the 28th, and we will probably know more then about a possible plea deal or not.

However, the video in the case will eventually be publicized either by release from the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office (or some other entity). Or, it being leaked somehow to the likes of a tabloid website like TMZ. That is almost inevitable and unavoidable for Kraft and the NFL.

And, at that point the league wouldn’t have any choice but to take action and discipline Kraft.

They also have the precedence of having suspended Colts owner Jim Irsay for six games and fining him $500,00 for his guilty plea to DUI charges in 2014. And, other franchises will be wanting action to be taken against Kraft, too.

So, the latest chapter is apology, but it’s not the end of league consequence in latest Patriots controversy.

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