By Bruce Allen, Patriots Daily Staff
If you’ve listened to sports radio or read anything on Boston.com or CSNNE.com recently, you know that the Patriots and Tom Brady are embroiled in a bitter, bitter contract dispute, with both sides trading barbs in the media and each side refusing to budge an inch from their positions. It’s gotten so bad that Brady doesn’t want to play here any more, and the Patriots, who are sick of his diva act, are ready to move on with Brian Hoyer as the face of their franchise through the next decade.
The situation is to the point where it is threatening the entire 2010 season for the New England Patriots, who are a team divided, and the locker room is in chaos over this issue which impacts every single player on that roster.
I mean, check out these unseemly, nasty comments from Patriots owner Robert Kraft last week in The New York Times.
“He’s going to be here,” Kraft said on the first day of training camp. “I love the guy. We’re so lucky to have him. I have an emotional attachment because I remember him coming in as the fourth quarterback, being a skinny beanpole of a kid.”
Wow. Kraft is clearly not below issuing sneering cold threats to his players to keep them in line, and to remind them that he is the owner, and they are his servants, only there to do his beckoning. Then check out Brady’s retort, the next day to the media:
“I’ve always been privileged to play for Coach Belichick, who I’ve always said is the best coach in the history of the league. And Mr. [Robert] Kraft, I have a great relationship with him. I’m not into playing games. I just want to come out here and do the best that I can do. Whether you make a dollar or you make millions of dollars like we do make, I really enjoy playing quarterback for this team.”
Ouch. Stinging words there from Brady, who is obviously unhappy with his situation, and clearly doesn’t want to be here for a second longer than he has to be. Can’t you just feel the anger in Brady’s voice as he says those words through clenched teeth?
Can you believe those two? How could the Patriots let it come to this?
Will the two sides work out their differences, and will Brady be the quarterback of this team? Kraft doesn’t offer much in the way of assurances to the fans.
“In my mind, he will be,” Kraft said. “One way or another. I believe he wants to be here. We want him here. We have a complicated situation we’re dealing with. There are a lot of forces at work. One way or another it will work out.”
Once again, Kraft doesn’t hide the fact that the two sides are completely at odds, but that he, as the owner, holds all the power, and is not afraid to swing that hammer.
Look carefully at the wording he uses: One way or another it will work out. How menacing is that? He’s basically saying that if need be, he’s willing to tie Brady down and hold him as a prisoner here in Foxboro if that is what it takes. He mumbles some lame excuses with veiled references to an upcoming CBA change that is likely to be the biggest change to the financial side of the NFL that the game has ever seen, and describes it as complicated. Lame. Yet threatening.
Yesterday, Kraft was given a chance to retract some of those awful comments. Today is Brady’s birthday, and Kraft offered this comment up:
“It’s actually unbelievable,” Kraft said of his quarterback who turns 33 on Tuesday. “He came here when he was 22 and now he’s going to be 33. He’s a great cook. He has something very special planned. We look forward to celebrating many more birthdays with him right here in Foxboro.”
Once again, did you detect the threat issued there? Many more birthdays right here in Foxboro. The message? I’m the owner, Brady. I control and will continue to control where you celebrate your birthdays.
It’s little wonder that Brady is so sick of being under the thumb of this man.
I am just so grateful that we have such a brave corps of fine media representatives in this region who will stop at nothing to uncover the truth and tell things just as they are. They are out there, fighting the battle for Brady, on the airwaves and in print, stomping down the dictatorial words and attitude of one Robert Kraft and his quest to keep Tom Brady underpaid an prevent him from living his life as he sees fit!
Three cheers to these wonderful souls who will stop at nothing to eradicate this injustice and shout from the rooftops that Mr Kraft is nothing but a charlatan who looks for any way possible to avoid paying large salaries to the very man responsible for his own huge empire of wealth!