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Sunday, February 23, 2020

Articles tagged: Robert Kraft

Bill Belichick, Robert Kraft reportedly on same page regarding Tom Brady

Bill Belichick

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.

Report: Robert Kraft will not force Bill Belichick to keep Tom Brady

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.

Robert Kraft gives Patriots fans hope with response to Tom Brady question

Robert Kraft

New England Patriots fans are desperately searching for any sign that Tom Brady does not plan to abandon them and suit up for another NFL franchise in 2020, and Robert Kraft provided a glimmer of hope this week during an exchange with a reporter on the street.

A TMZ reporter asked Kraft on Tuesday if the Patriots are going to be able to keep Brady in New England. Kraft easily could have avoided the question, but he instead shouted “we plan to” before getting into the back of an SUV.

While that probably doesn’t mean much, Pats fans could interpret it as a positive sign that Kraft chose to respond. Or, it could simply be that Kraft wants fans in New England to know he is trying to keep Brady, and it will have been Brady’s decision to leave if the 42-year-old winds up with another team.

Ultimately, Kraft will probably defer to Bill Belichick. Brady has two or three seasons left in him, whereas Belichick could coach for another 10 years or more. If Belichick tells Kraft he wants to move in another direction, Kraft may listen.

For what it’s worth, Brady took some time this week to show appreciation for Patriots fans who are asking him not to leave. The issue is probably more about building a championship roster and less about money. If the Patriots can get Brady some more weapons, there’s no reason he should want to leave this late in his career.

Robert Kraft: ‘My hope and prayer’ is Tom Brady remains with Patriots or retires

Tom Brady

New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft understands that Saturday night’s loss may have been Tom Brady’s final game with the franchise, but he does not want to see the six-time Super Bowl champion in another uniform next season.

Hours before the Patriots were eliminated from the postseason at the hands of the Tennessee Titans, Kraft spoke with Peter King of NBC Sports about the uncertain future of Brady. He said it was important to him when negotiating Brady’s latest contract that the quarterback would be free to do what he chooses after the season, but Kraft clearly wants him to stay.

“I love the young man like he’s part of my family. Blood family. Anyone who’s (accomplished what Brady has) has earned the right to control his future after 20 years,” Kraft said. “And you know, my hope and prayer is number one, he play for the Patriots. Or number two, he retires. He has the freedom to decide what he wants to do and what’s in his own best personal interest.”

Brady, who said immediately after losing to the Titans that it is “pretty unlikely” he will retire, indicated to King that he is open to playing for another team if things don’t work out in New England.

“I’ll explore those opportunities whenever they are. If it’s the Patriots, great. If that doesn’t work, I don’t know. I just don’t know. I love playing football,” he said. “I still want to play football. I think I still can play at a championship level. I’ve just got to go do it. I’m motivated to get back to work and training.”

Brady almost certainly does not want to leave the Patriots. He probably doesn’t want to be paid top dollar, either. The point of signing team-friendly deals has always been to allow New England to build a championship roster around him, and the Patriots did not do that this season. They clearly need more weapons on offense, and Brady would likely sign another team-friendly contract if they improve the offensive line and get him some actual threats to catch passes and make plays.

There have been numerous signs this season that Brady may be on his way out of New England, but that could just be a matter of an impending free agent not ruling anything out. At the end of the day, it would be better for both sides if Brady came back for another season with an improved supporting cast. It’s unlikely that a 43-year-old quarterback — even one as decorated as Brady — is going to step in with a new team and lead them to a championship.

Report: Robert Kraft could face felony charge in prostitution case

Robert Kraft

New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft remains in seriously legal jeopardy stemming from charges that he solicited a prostitute in Florida.

According to Marc Freeman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel, prosecutors are arguing that Kraft committed a felony as part of their latest court filing. Kraft was originally charged with two misdemeanor counts of soliciting prostitution stemming from the Patriots owner allegedly receiving sexual favors at a day spa.

A third-degree felony would be punishable by up to five years in prison.

It’s quite the bold move for prosecutors considering their main evidence, the video of Kraft in the spa, will not be permitted as court evidence. Kraft’s lawyers had staked their defense all along on that video being obtained illegally, which is why the owner has fought for a jury trial instead of taking a plea deal. Turning down such a deal remains risky, particularly as prosecutors continue to raise the stakes, but Kraft clearly has faith in his defense.

Antonio Brown shares fan’s criticism of Robert Kraft on his Instagram

Antonio Brown

Antonio Brown recently took to social media to issue an apology to Robert Kraft and the New England Patriots, which was obviously a desperate attempt for the star wide receiver to get the team to take him back. Now that it appears that is not going to happen, Brown has reverted back to his old antics.

Following another uninspiring offensive performance from Tom Brady and company, several Patriots fans urged the team to bring back Brown. Brown shared several of those Instagram posts on his own story, including one that was highly critical of Kraft for not wanting to win and mentioned his infamous day spa scandal.

Brown ripped Kraft in since-deleted tweet back in September after the Patriots cut him, and he recently apologized. It’s difficult to imagine Kraft taking the apology seriously if Brown is still sharing criticisms of the Pats owner on his personal social media pages.

A report over the weekend indicated that Patriots players and coaches would welcome Brown back, but the NFL still has not announced whether or not he will face disciplinary action. Tom Brady may have even hinted that he wants Brown back, but it seems unlikely to happen before the end of the season, if at all.

Antonio Brown apologizes to Robert Kraft, Patriots in latest social media post

Antonio Brown

Antonio Brown seems to alternate between trying to salvage his reputation and not caring what anyone thinks about him, and Tuesday was apparently a day in which he wanted to make amends for his past actions.

Brown took to social media on Tuesday morning and shared a photo of him hugging Tom Brady following the touchdown pass he caught in his lone game with the New England Patriots earlier this year. He apologized to team owner Robert Kraft and the organization for the “bad media and the drama.”

Brown shared the same post on Instagram, and it’s worth noting that Tom Brady and several other Patriots players “liked” it.

Brown signed with the Patriots earlier this year just days before it came out that a former friend and personal trainer was suing him for sexual assault. New England initially stuck with him while the situation played out, but Brown was then accused of sexual misconduct by a second woman. The Patriots decided to release him after he sent text messages to the second alleged victim. Brown unloaded on Kraft in a tweet not long after the Pats parted ways with him, though he has since deleted it.

The Patriots struggled offensively against the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday and could certainly use Brown from a football standpoint, so the Pro Bowler is likely trying to repair his relationship with the team. He also tried to rally for a different team to sign him, so Brown is trying to do what he can to get another chance. That chance is unlikely to come this season, as he is still awaiting word from the NFL on if, and how long, he will be suspended.