|Jonathan Kraft: ‘We are very happy with’ Roger Goodell||10.02.14 at 11:00 pm ET|
Patriots president Jonathan Kraft publicly backed NFL commissioner Roger Goodell on Thursday, saying that “we are very happy with him.”
“Roger’s our commissioner and we are very happy with him,” said Kraft. according to the Associated Press.
Jonathan is the son of Patriots owner Robert Kraft, and was speaking at a Bloomberg News luncheon in response to questions from a moderator. He did not take questions from reporters.
The commissioner has come under fire recently for his handling of the Ray Rice case. Initially, Rice was suspended for two games following an incident where he was seen dragging his then-fiance Janay Palmer out of a casino elevator.
After a second video surfaced showing Rice striking Palmer, Goodell suspended the running back indefinitely for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy. The Ravens then released him, and Goodell acknowledged he ‘didn’t get it right.’
“I’m paraphrasing,” said Kraft, “but [Goodell] effectively said: ‘At the NFL, we hold ourselves to an extremely high standard, both on and off the field, and in a recent incident of domestic violence I didn’t do a good job, I didn’t get it right, I didn’t hold the league to that very high standard and that one’s on me.’
“[Goodell] realized without having to see the [second] video that domestic violence was a much more serious thing for society in general, but for our league to be setting an extremely strong message on about just how unacceptable it is and he didn’t do it.
“He acknowledged it, and after the video became public, he acknowledged it again.”
For more Patriots news, check out weei.com/patriots.
|Patriots valued at $2.6 billion, second behind only Cowboys in NFL||08.20.14 at 11:47 am ET|
The Patriots continue to be one of the most valuable commodities in sports.
The Cowboys are surpassed by only the soccer superpower Real Madrid ($3.4 billion) in terms of overall net worth among all global sports franchises. Thanks in part to Cowboys Stadium (a.k.a. “JerryWorld”), Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has seen his value rise by 36 percent over 2013.
The Cowboys top Forbes’ rankings by a healthy margin for an eighth consecutive season, having risen in value by $900 million over the last 12 months to become the only NFL team worth more than $3 billion.
Here’s the top 5 franchises in the NFL:
1. Cowboys $3.2 billion
2. Patriots $2.6B
3. Redskins $2.4B
4. NY Giants $2.1B
5. Texans $1.85B
The Cowboys have the NFL’s highest revenue ($560 million) and operating income ($246 million). This year, Jones added something new and different – partnerships with a worldwide luxury watch and cruise line, an NFL first.
On the other side of the spectrum, there are seven teams are worth less than $1 billion: the Chargers ($995 million), Bengals ($990 million), Raiders ($970 million), Jaguars ($965 million), Lions ($960 million), Bills ($935 million) and the Rams ($930 million).
|Pete Carroll says limitations in New England ‘kept me from being the kind of coach I could be’||01.28.14 at 6:13 pm ET|
NEWARK — His time in New England was brief and not altogether unsuccessful.
Pete Carroll stepped in for Bill Parcells and took his first two teams to the playoffs in 1997 and ’98. But when 1999 ended in 8-8 mediocrity and no playoffs, owner Robert Kraft decided it was time for a change. He was 10-6 in 1997, 9-7 in 1998, a season that ended with Scott Zolak as the starting quarterback against Jacksonville in a 25-10 playoff loss. He was 27-21 in three regular seasons with a playoff win over the Dolphins in his first season.
On Tuesday, at Super Bowl media day, Carroll reflected on those days in Foxboro.
“I never lost sight of what the possible opportunities were,” Carroll said. “I never had a thought where something like this couldn’t happen. But after getting immersed in the college world, that was everything. That was my whole life, so I lost sight of it a little bit there. But when opportunities came up, I’d revisit the thought and then let it go, because they weren’t right until the situation happened with Seattle. As soon as Seattle, when we came together on this thought coaching there, this resurfaced. We know that we’re where we’re intended to be and we’re excited about being here.”
“A lot of things were going on that made it difficult for him to stay, some of which were out of his control,” Kraft said at the time, “and it began with following a legend.”
What did he learn from working with Robert and Jonathan Kraft?
“I think I learned a lot. I think I learned a lot of things,” Carroll said. “Robert and his family are a great family to play and coach for. But I also learned what it takes for a person like myself to operate at my highest level and I also realized some limitations that were going on that kept me from being the kind of coach I could be. It allowed me to refocus and formalize some plans that I was able to put in at USC and then at the Seahawks.”
Of course, Carroll bridges the two greatest coaches in Patriots history, with Bill Belichick succeeding him in 2000.
Carroll said goodbye to the NFL for 10 years after the 1999 season with the Patriots. He took over the USC program and left that program just before the bottom fell out in 2009 and the school was hit with sanctions by the NCAA for numerous operations infractions, most centering around Reggie Bush.
Now he’s back in New York, where his NFL head coaching career began in 1994 with the Jets, a run that lasted just one season after his 6-10 record.
“You know, I think I do a pretty good job of not doing that,” Carroll said of looking back. “I don’t really care about trying to figure out where we are right now, just keep moving forward. Someday we’ll look back and that’s when you can kind of make an assessment of what’s happening.
“It’s very special to be here. Look at this event that our players are having to take part of. The game, the matchup, the culmination of the season, all of this is just extraordinary. It goes deeper than that. It goes way back to when we were little kids. There’s a lot to it. All in all, we’re just going to enjoy the heck out of it and try and play a good football game.”
|NFLPA reportedly files grievances against Patriots on behalf of Aaron Hernandez, seeking millions||10.16.13 at 10:11 pm ET|
FOXBORO — The NFLPA is demanding the Patriots pay accused murderer Aaron Hernandez millions of dollars from his five-year, $40 million contract.
According to the Boston Herald and ESPNBoston.com, the NFL Players Association has filed two grievances this week against the team on behalf of Hernandez, who has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder in the death of 27-year-old Odin Lloyd in June.
The union is seeking restitution of Hernandez’s 2013 base salary ($1.323 million), his 2014 salary ($1.137 million) and workout bonus ($500,000). The workout bonus had guarantee language attached in his original contract, and also for the final installment of his signing bonus worth $3.25 million.
Hernandez signed a five-year extension in August 2012 that was to keep him with the Pats through 2018. The extension had a total maximum value of $40 million, with a $12.5 million signing bonus. In August, the NFLPA had filed a grievance against the Patriots on behalf of Hernandez, seeking to collect $82,000 in workout bonuses.
Team president Jonathan Kraft told the team’s radio network in August that the team believes Hernandez is not owed workout bonus money because the player failed to meet the 90 percent participation requirement.
After filing the initial grievance this August, the union made its only public statement about the case, setting the groundwork for this week’s more substantial demand from the team.
“On behalf of all players, it is our responsibility to protect the rights in the collective bargaining agreement,” the union said in a statement. “We are not tone-deaf to what the allegations are in this case, but for the benefit of all players, there are important precedents here we must protect.”
A team can recover bonus money and avoid a cap hit if a player violates one of the league’s personal-conduct policies or defaults on contract language.
Patriots owner Robert Kraft, speaking before his team’s annual pre-season gala, responded to the grievance.
“Simple: you can look at our history. We honor all of our contracts, and we expect the people who sign them to honor their part of their contract,” Kraft said.
|Jonathan Kraft rips into ‘factually inaccurate’ Rolling Stone story on Aaron Hernandez||08.29.13 at 8:38 pm ET|
FOXBORO — Patriots president Jonathan Kraft isn’t going to let a national publication roll all over his organization.
He made that much perfectly clear Thursday when he responded to the Aaron Hernandez story in the latest issue of the Rolling Stone.
The Patriots’ team president went on the Patriots radio network pregame show before Thursday’s preseason finale with the Giants and gave his thoughts on the way the organization was portrayed in the lengthy 8,000-word Hernandez expose.
“There were two, three or four things that are completely factually inaccurate,” Kraft said.
Kraft denied the allegation that Hernandez confessed to Belichick that his life was in danger. He also refuted that Bill Belichick responded by telling him to “lay low” and rent a safe house. Kraft said he spoke with Belichick and asked him about the charge.
“Absolutely not. Aaron never told me his life was in danger,” Belichick said, according to Kraft.
Kraft said Belichick never threatened to cut Hernandez, adding “he would never threaten to cut a player one year after an extension.”
As for Mark Briggs replacing Frank Mendes as the team’s head of security, Kraft said that decision is not in Belichick’s domain and not his decision.
[Read Mike Petraglia’s column on the Patriots, Rolling Stone and Aaron Hernandez]
Kraft also said he cancelled his longtime Rolling Stone subscription after the magazine put the Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev on its cover earlier this summer.
As for the NFLPA grievance filed against the Patriots this week, looking for $82,000 in workout bonuses it claims the player is owne, Kraft said Hernandez participated in just 25 of 33 offseason workouts, less than the 90 percent required in his contact for the money to be paid.
|Reports: Tom Brady has ‘sprain’ of left knee, considered not serious||08.14.13 at 6:21 pm ET|
FOXBORO — An exam performed on Tom Brady Wednesday afternoon revealed a sprain of his left knee but the injury is not considered serious, according to a report by WBZ-TV’s Dan Roche, who also serves as the team’s preseason TV announcer.
Brady injured the knee in Wednesday’s joint practice with Tampa Bay when Buccaneers right defensive end Adrian Clayborn bull rushed Nate Solder into the the left leg of Brady. Clayborn said he forced Solder into Brady, causing Solder to trip over the quarterback.
Solder said he’ll have to look more closely at film to see what happened.
On the play, Brady threw a sideline pass to Aaron Dobson. As Brady grabbed his left knee, several teammates and coach Bill Belichick stood over him, waiting for him to get up.
Brady came out limping and then returned for five plays before leaving practice for good, heading to the adjacent practice bubble, where he was examined by medical staff, including trainer Jim Whalen.
The star quarterback immediately grabbed his left knee, the same knee he had reconstructed after tearing the ACL in the 2008 season opener against Bernard Pollard and the Chiefs.
Here are the multiple accounts on Twitter on Wednesday evening concerning Tom Brady’s injury:
Tests showed that Tom Brady has no structural damage, and that his previous ACL reconstruction was not compromised in any way. ….
‘ Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) August 14, 2013
… And the clean MRI means that Brady suffered no significant ligament damage. Doesn’t mean it won’t bother him, but should be fine.
‘ Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) August 14, 2013
Again, my understanding is that Brady will be fine and will be looked at again- but looks like knee ok – #wbz
‘ Dan Roche (@RochieWBZ) August 14, 2013
MRI on Patriots QB Tom Brady’s knee was negative and he now is considered day to day, per ESPN source with knowledge of injury.
‘ Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) August 14, 2013
|Transcript of Jonathan Kraft on D&C: Albert Haynesworth understands ownership’s expectations||09.09.11 at 10:17 am ET|
Patriots president Jonathan Kraft joined the Dennis & Callahan show Friday morning to talk about Monday’s season-opener, the NFL lockout and his father’s role in ending it, Peyton Manning‘s injury, the 10th anniversary of 9/11 and much more.
The Patriots’ signing of controversial defensive lineman Albert Haynesworth was seen by some as a departure from the team’s philosophy of staying away from players with checkered pasts. Kraft explained the team’s view.
“Before Albert was signed to the team, we sat down and talked to him,” Kraft said. “It was pretty clear that Albert, like some other players who maybe have had a similar spotlight shone on them when they’ve signed here — like Randy [Moss] or Corey [Dillon] or maybe even Bryan Cox — I think when you sit and talk to Albert, what you hear is an intense frustration of a man.
“Football’s a very hard game to play. When you’re intelligent — and Albert’s very intelligent and he understands everything you’re doing to play the game — and you’re not in situations where you have a real opportunity, or where he perceived there to be a real lack of commitment to winning, you get frustrated. I think that plays out in different ways with all types of people, some of which might be appropriate, some of which might not be.
“But the biggest thing Albert said was, ‘I love to play football and I want to win.’ And much like the other players I mentioned, when we traded for him was willing to restructure his contract. And effectively, he controlled where he went, because he wasn’t going to restructure with other people, much like Randy wasn’t, much like Corey wasn’t. And he basically, and this was actions speaking louder than words, walked away from effectively guaranteed millions and millions and millions of dollars to come in and play for a base salary that’s a little bit over the minimum and a chance to earn more money if he’s on the field and performs.
“To us, those actions speak greatly about what someone’s intentions are. And since he’s been in the building, he is very well-liked in the locker room, he’s been a great teammate, and my limited experience with him has only been extremely positive.”
Kraft was asked if he, his father or Bill Belichick told Haynesworth what won’t be tolerated in Foxboro.
Said Kraft: “Bill has his own conversations, so I haven’t been privy to what Bill says one-on-one to those guys. But when Robert [Kraft] and I sit down with them, the first thing that gets said — and Robert said it very clearly in this case — is that when you’re a Patriot, you are carrying our family’s last name. And there are certain expectations that come with that that go well beyond what goes on on the football field and how you are as a football player. And if you don’t feel you can live up to that and honor that and respect that, then it’s probably better that we not move forward with this relationship.”