One newspaper went viral on Thursday for its Robert Kraft headline.
The Baltimore Sun published an article about Kraft’s comments regarding optimism for an NFL season being played.
“We’re preparing to hopefully play football this fall,” the New England Patriots owner told Sean Hannity during an interview on Tuesday.
The Sun then went and headlined the article “Robert Kraft sees a happy ending for the NFL.”
Robert Kraft sees a happy ending for the NFL https://t.co/Ol982i9YZA
— Baltimore Sun Sports (@BaltSunSports) May 28, 2020
Folks on Twitter loved it.
Give this headline writer a raise. https://t.co/lXDs5VBiqH
— Matt Lombardo (@MattLombardoNFL) May 28, 2020
will he pay for it though? https://t.co/UbbfAAOPfM
— Colin Dunlap (@colin_dunlap) May 28, 2020
Headline of the year. https://t.co/GrxoJxmKi8
— Carrington Harrison (@cdotharrison) May 28, 2020
The headline, of course, is an allusion to Kraft being busted paying for a sexual act at a massage parlor. Well played by The Sun.
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President Donald Trump said on Tuesday that he wants sports back and that he will consult with some famous owners along with league commissioners when discussing getting sports back during the country-wide shutdown to the coronavirus pandemic.
The president had a conference call with many commissioners two weekends ago to discuss reopening sports. He said on Tuesday that owners like Jerry Jones, Mark Cuban and Robert Kraft will also be among those with whom he consults.
“We have to get our sports back,” Trump said. “I’m tired of watching baseball games that are 14 years old. But I haven’t had too much time to watch; I’d say I watch maybe one batter and then I get back to work.”
All sports fans can agree on that.
There may be different schools of thought about when to reopen and in what manner, but there are conversations taking place daily about the subjects. And all leagues seem to have plans about possible returns to action, which will likely be without fans at least to start. Even the state of Florida has cleared pro sports leagues to continue despite the statewide shelter-in-place rule.
— William Joy (@WilliamJoy) April 14, 2020
Tom Brady spoke with reporters on Tuesday for the first time since he signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and the six-time Super Bowl champion made it clear that he has no intention of getting into a back-and-forth with the New England Patriots about who was responsible for the divorce.
In a conference call, Brady was asked a number of questions about his decision to leave the Patriots. Robert Kraft said last week that it was Brady’s choice and the Patriots would have worked something out if the 42-year-old wanted to stay, and Brady neither confirmed nor denied that. He did, however, note that he is “not responsible” for how another person might phrase something.
Tom Brady asked about Robert Kraft saying it was Brady's decision to leave NE: "Again, I am not responsible for how other people will say certain things. Mr. Kraft has been a great influence in my life. I am so thankful for 2 decades. … I am excited for this opportunity."
— Ryan Hannable (@RyanHannable) March 24, 2020
One report claimed the Patriots were willing to offer Brady the same contract as the one he signed with the Bucs, which would indicate Brady was intent on leaving New England from the start. But on Tuesday, Brady claimed he did not make a final decision until the night before he announced it.
Brady on when he decided, with finality, to leave the Pats: "It was really the night that I had stopped by (Robert Kraft's house). … We spoke and we had a great conversation. I just wanted to express what he's meant to me in my life."
Said he talked to Belichick right after.
— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) March 24, 2020
Brady has almost always taken the high road when discussing controversial comments throughout his career, so it’s no surprise he doesn’t want to get into a “he said, she said” with Kraft. All indications are that the split between Brady and the Patriots had been brewing for quite some time, but Brady almost certainly would have re-signed with the Pats if they made more of an effort to keep him.
Tom Brady announced on Tuesday that he will not return to the New England Patriots next season, and the team appears determined to make it known that the decision to part ways was Brady’s.
Patriots owner Robert Kraft says he met face to face with Brady on Monday night, at which point the six-time Super Bowl champion informed Kraft he will be signing with another team this offseason. Kraft told ESPN’s Mike Reiss that Brady has “earned that right” and that Kraft still loves him “like a son.” However, Kraft later told multiple reporters that the Patriots would have worked out a deal with Brady if the 42-year-old wanted to return.
Robert Kraft told me "if Tom wanted to remain a Patriot, we would have had a deal." Said Brady believes it was best to turn the page and start a new chapter of his life in football and beyond. #Patriots @nflnetwork
— Michael Giardi (@MikeGiardi) March 17, 2020
Stephen A just said Robert Kraft called him during the last commercial break and told him: "….be very clear if Tom Brady wanted to stay we would've worked it out, and he would've remained a New England Patriot. But Tom Brady wanted to leave."
— Michele Steele (@ESPNMichele) March 17, 2020
Kraft and Bill Belichick both also released statements praising Brady.
— New England Patriots (@Patriots) March 17, 2020
We’ll probably never know what went on behind the scenes with Brady and the Patriots, but it was inevitable that Kraft would try to assure fans that the team did everything it could to keep the most important player in franchise history. There is almost certainly more to the story than that.
According to at least one report, the Patriots did not make a legitimate effort to keep Brady. All indications are that Belichick did not want to pay top starter money for a quarterback who will soon turn 43, and that is consistent with how the coach has operated throughout his entire tenure in New England.
Brady reportedly has some hefty offers from at least two teams. He had to have known the Patriots weren’t going to be the highest bidder, but it sounds like Belichick could have showed him more appreciation. We heard previously that Kraft had no intention of intervening in contract negotiations, so it’s hard to believe the Patriots did everything they could to re-sign Brady.
The New England Patriots may or may not have Tom Brady next year, but it doesn’t sound like owner Robert Kraft will be intervening either way.
According to Tom E. Curran of NBC Sports Boston, Kraft will not intervene in talks between the Patriots and Brady if there is considerable distance between the two sides. Brady’s future with the organization is ultimately down to Bill Belichick, and Kraft will only step in if there is a “narrow” gap between the team and the quarterback.
As much as Kraft loves Brady, the owner understands that forcing Brady back into the fold against Belichick’s wishes could exacerbate culture issues and be bad for the team.
By all accounts, all members of the Patriots’ hierarchy are working in sync on the Brady issue. This is the latest confirmation of that. Kraft would hate to let Brady go, but Belichick has earned trust in these situations, and that is what the owner is doing.
There is a wide-ranging belief that Bill Belichick is ready to move on from Tom Brady and may be at odds with New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft over how to handle the situation, but that belief is apparently not rooted in reality.
Ian Rapoport of NFL Media reported recently that the Patriots are willing to pay Brady $30 million or more to have him return to the team next season. Some interpreted that to mean Kraft wants to compensate Brady for all he has done for the franchise, but Rapoport said in an interview with WEEI’s “Dale & Keefe Show” on Thursday that Kraft and Belichick are on the same page.
“They want Tom Brady to return. They think they can get him back and they are willing to go where they have not gone before to do it,” Rapoport said. “I don’t believe that Belichick and Kraft are on different pages as far as what they would be willing to pay Tom Brady. I have not heard that. It would be surprising to hear that is true.”
Dollars and cents are only one factor in the Brady negotiations, as he wants the Patriots to come up with a legitimate plan for improving the team’s offense around him. He would probably be willing to take less money (like he has throughout his career) if he can be assured a better supporting cast next season. However, the reported willingness of Kraft and Belichick to pay Brady big money signals that the coach is not anxious to prove he can win with another quarterback, as many have speculated.
While Kraft is ultimately in charge of money, it does not sound like he would force Belichick to keep Brady if the coach wanted to go in a different direction. Belichick and Brady are the two most important people in the negotiations, but Brady seems determined to not tip his hand one way or the other.
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.