Roger Goodell quietly attends Patriots preseason opener

NFL commissioner's first time in Foxboro since 2015

August 11, 2017 - 8:17 am

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell was among those who turned out to watch the New England Patriots preseason opener in Foxboro Thursday night. The commissioner made a quiet return to Gillette Stadium. His appearance was not announced by the league or the team before or during the game.

NFL public relations man Brian McCarthy tweeted out a photo of Goodell posing for a picture with three Patriots fans. The Boston Globe's Ben Volin also tweeted out a Zapruder-like photo of Goodell chatting with Patriots owner Robert Kraft in a luxury suite.

It was the commissioner's first time in Foxboro since the 2014 AFC Championship game between New England and Indianapolis. That was the game that led to the infamous Deflategate investigation and led to a cold war between the team and the league office.

Earlier in the year, Goodell said he would be in attendance for the Pats home opener on September 7, but apparently he thought it would be better to make an unassuming visit prior to that appearance.

Kraft and Goodell clashed on Deflategate, with the Patriots owner at one saying he was "wrong to put my faith in the league" after Goodell issued a harsh punishment, which including suspending Tom Brady for four games, issuing a $1 million fine and taking away a first and fourth round draft choice.

The relationship may have thawed out in recent years. Earlier this year, in the lead up to Super Bowl LI, Kraft said Goodell would always be welcome at Gillette Stadium.

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