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Robert Kraft isn't wired for an Al Davis-type fight against NFL

SAN FRANCISCO -- Robert Kraft is no Al Davis.

This is the biggest takeaway from Kraft's announcement Tuesday that he will accept the penalties handed down to the New England Patriots by the NFL, a decision that is naturally unpopular with his fan base.

Many wanted Kraft to keep up the fight, a la Davis, the late Raiders owner who would have embraced a prolonged battle against the league that could have landed in court. But after considering that route because of his conviction the team did nothing wrong, Kraft ultimately chose the NFL and high road over his own team.

"I know a lot of Patriot fans are going to be disappointed in that decision," he acknowledged. "But I hope they trust my judgment and know that I really feel, at this point in time, that taking this off the agenda is the best thing for the New England Patriots, our fans, and the NFL. I hope you all can respect that."

That's going to be a tough sell in New England. Kraft can expect to be hammered for this.

In the end, though, it was always viewed as the most likely endgame at this address.

Kraft was willing to sternly fight and extend the public debate with statements, websites and media interviews. But in the end, in the words of Bill Parcells, "you are what your record says you are" and Kraft's record over 21 years is one of NFL bridge-builder more than a Davis-type adversary. The idea of him escalating things and taking the league he's helped build into a superpower to court (and potentially through a series of appeals) always seemed far-fetched.

So he took it as far as he was comfortable taking it, putting out his team's side of the story and letting the fans choose for themselves. That's not going to be good enough for many Patriots fans, who wanted Kraft to channel his inner Davis in an attempt to fully exonerate the franchise.

But Kraft is not wired for such a fight.