Report: Robert Kraft will not force Bill Belichick to keep Tom Brady
As the owner of the team, Robert Kraft has the final say over anything that happens with the New England Patriots. That includes roster decisions, but Kraft trusts Bill Belichick to handle that side of the business — even when it comes to Tom Brady.
Kraft has an extremely close relationship with Brady and has said many times that he considers him a son. That has led many to believe Kraft would step in and use his veto power if Belichick wanted to part ways with Brady, but Tom E. Curran of NBC Sports Boston says that would not happen.
Kraft has never meddled in roster decisions and is not going to start now. While there is a wide-ranging assumption that Brady wanted the Patriots to trade Jimmy Garoppolo in 2017 and Kraft made it happen, Curran was told that is not the way it played out. Belichick made the decision to trade Garoppolo, and the coach will ultimately decide whether or not the Patriots can work out a deal to keep Brady in 2020 that makes sense for the franchise.
“The owner has declared many times he wants Brady to remain a Patriot,” Curran wrote on Sunday. “But my understanding is that, just as he wouldn’t force Brady to stay under a franchise tag, he won’t intercede if Belichick concludes moving on from Brady is the best course of action.”
Even if there was a time when Kraft would have sided with Brady in any potential Brady-Belichick power struggle, it would make sense for the owner to side with his head coach now. Brady will turn 43 before the start of next season, and he has said he wants to play until he is 45. Realistically, the Patriots are going to get two or three more seasons out of him at the most. Belichick, on the other hand, could decide to coach well into his 70s. With his son Steve on the coaching staff now and playing a major role with the defense, there’s no reason to believe Belichick plans to retire anytime soon. If Kraft ends up having to choose between two more years of Brady or a decade of Belichick, the choice should be an easy one.
Reports have indicated that the Patriots may be willing to go a bit outside their comfort zone to keep Brady, but we know of at least one AFC rival that is hoping to make things difficult for the Pats.