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Goodell: Kraft's decision won't affect Brady's appeal

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Commissioner Roger Goodell told reporters Wednesday that Patriots owner Robert Kraft did not find a way to also impact Tom Brady's appeal process by "reluctantly" accepting the league's punishment.

Goodell gave a stern "no" in response to that question at the Spring League Meeting during a news conference that centered heavily on the aftermath of a lengthy investigation into whether or not the Patriots illegally deflated footballs.

At the moment, the NFL Players Association still intends to appeal the four-game suspension handed down to the Patriots quarterback in the wake of Ted Wells Report.

Goodell would only say that he will keep an open mind. He did not address whether or not he would recuse himself as arbitrator in the appeal as the NFLPA requested.

He also said he was not sure if a date has been set for a Brady hearing.

"This process has been established, it goes back to Commissioner Pete Rozelle and several labor agreements," Goodell said. "There's a process in place we want to follow. The key for us is to be able to allow any information Tom Brady and his representatives have. Is there any new information he can bring clarity to, or something that wasn't in the Wells Report? ... That's why we'll keep an open mind."

Suspending Brady would obviously deprive the league of one of its best players for the first quarter of the season. Goodell was asked Wednesday how it would look for such an event to take place but seemed determined to let the process play out.

"Listen, any time anyone's suspended from a game that they love it's difficult," he said. "So any player or coach that we're involved with suspending, that decision comes after a great deal of thought, consideration and recognizing that that's a difficult decision. And we're very careful with it and we're very thoughtful with it.

"I have great admiration and respect for Tom Brady, but the rules have to be enforced on a uniform basis and they apply to everybody in the league. They apply to every club, every individual coach, every individual player and that is something that we put the game ahead of everything."

Among the other highlights from Goodell:

» Meetings this week focused heavily around the league's global reach. The commissioner identified a budding market in Germany, as well as renewed interest in playing another game in Mexico. Back in 2005, the 49ers and Cardinals squared off at Estadio Azteca in Mexico City.

» On the Los Angeles front, Goodell said he doesn't think it's "inevitable" that a team moves to Los Angeles, but he noted that there has been "momentum."

The latest Around The NFL Podcast ranks every starting quarterback on "The Dalton Scale" and goes over all the latest news. Find more Around The NFL content on NFL NOW.

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