Goodell: Friendship with Kraft was never strained

In the aftermath of Deflategate, New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft said he didn't know if his relationship with Commissioner Roger Goodell would "ever be the same."

Time can heal some of those wounds.

Goodell traveled to Jerusalem for the inauguration of the Kraft Family Sports Complex on Tuesday.

"Robert is very important to me personally ..." Goodell told The Jerusalem Post's Allon Sinai. "My friendship with Robert was never strained. We both understand that we have jobs ...

"I know how important this is for him. My respect and admiration for him has never waned. We believe our best days are ahead."

The tension between the Patriots and the Commissioner was palpable during the presentation of the Lombardi Trophy following New England's Super Bowl LI victory.

Goodell has said several times that he was not avoiding heading to Gillette Stadium last season and plans to attend the Patriots' 2017 NFL Kickoff game. New England fans are sure to give him a warm welcome.

Goodell joined 18 Hall of Famers, including Joe Montana, Jim Brown, Marshall Faulk, Jerome Bettis, Eric Dickerson and others, in Jerusalem with Kraft for the opening of the complex.

"My passion is the game of football and it means so much to me to see the game being developed here," said Kraft this week, via the Jerusalem Post.

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