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Robert Kraft on Tom Brady appeal: We hope he prevails

As Tom Brady's suspension fight rolls on, the New England Patriots continue to stand by their man.

"We've been behind him. The whole thing has been mishandled in my opinion," Patriots owner Robert Kraft told NFL Media's Judy Battista at the Spring League Meeting in Charlotte, North Carolina, on Tuesday. "It's unfortunate and we hope he prevails."

Kraft has expressed public support for Brady since the star quarterback was hit with a four-game suspension for his "general awareness" that the Patriots had deflated footballs ahead of the team's 2014 AFC Championship Game victory over the Colts. The Patriots were also fined $1 million and stripped of their first-round selection in the 2016 NFL Draft for the offense. Kraft opted not to challenge the NFL's discipline, but has remained outspoken in his support of Brady, the two-time MVP and four-time Super Bowl champion.

On Monday, Brady's lawyers filed a petition for a rehearing of his suspension case against the NFL before the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals in New York. According to the filing, Brady's legal team, led by former U.S. Solicitor General Ted Olson, petitioned for a panel rehearing or a rehearing en banc. In an en banc hearing, all 13 judges on the court would rehear the case.

Gabe Feldman, director of the Tulane Sports Law Program, said Monday on NFL Network that the en banc rehearing request is "a long shot" to be accepted by the court.

If Brady's suspension stands, he will miss games against the Cardinals, Dolphins, Texans and Bills to start the 2016 regular season.

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