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Optimistic Kraft cautions that there’s “a lot of hard work” left

Robert Kraft AP

One of the five owners participating in the not-so-secret labor negotiations dropped a hint or two about the not-so-secret talks during an appearance on Thursday.  And while Patriots owner Robert Kraft expressed optimism about the process, he offered a caveat.

“This is a very hard deal with all the different variables,” Kraft said, per Tom Curran of CSNNE.com.  “Sitting down and talking about the problems is a positive thing.  But there’s a lot of hard work still to be done.  But the good news is, we’re talking.”

That is good news.  And it’s even better that the lawyers aren’t part of the talking.

“I think we went 34 days without having communications, and the lawyers on each side were doing stuff,” Kraft added, per Mike Reiss of ESPNBoston.com.   “That, to me, isn’t progress.”

Long a proponent of getting the principals together without the involvement of the lawyers, Kraft said in February that the deal could be done within a week, without the attorneys.  His reference to “a lot of hard work” shows that it’s proven to be more complicated.  Still, if the parties remain committed to getting a deal done, there’s reason for hope.

“We have the greatest game in America and a lot of people depending on this game, not just people working in this building — service people, support people,” Kraft added. “I think on Sundays, it’s part of Americana. People plan their day and we have to be very careful that we continue to enhance it. The fact we’re continuing to talk is a very positive sign.”

Indeed it is.  Let’s now hope they can keep it going.

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33 Responses to “Optimistic Kraft cautions that there’s “a lot of hard work” left”
  1. trbowman says: Jun 9, 2011 3:32 PM

    Too much talk, too little action.

  2. boblavoie says: Jun 9, 2011 3:33 PM

    Keep up the good work Bob, you are worth more than 100 lawyers. Looking forward to Sundays at Gillette – see you there.

  3. bearskoolaid1985 says: Jun 9, 2011 3:33 PM

    Had the players not decertified instead of extending the talks back in March then a new CBA would already be done.

  4. thephantomstranger says: Jun 9, 2011 3:36 PM

    Unbelievable that we’re so optimistic just because the two sides are talking. That’s the least we should expect. They should have been talking every day since the owners opted out of the last CBA.

  5. danimalk82 says: Jun 9, 2011 3:36 PM

    Yeah lots of hard work. I mean could you imagine signing your initials and signature more than 20 times in one sitting? They must really love football to put up with that. We got it good people, be thankful we don’t have to do slave labor like any of those people arguing over billions of dollars.

  6. Mike Tomlin says: Jun 9, 2011 3:36 PM

    At what point can you stop calling them the not-so-secret negotiations and just call them negotiations? Its getting old…

  7. robertallen1958 says: Jun 9, 2011 3:37 PM

    My hat is off to Mr. Kraft, a force of reason at last! “I think we went 34 days without having communications, and the lawyers on each side were doing stuff,” Kraft added, per Mike Reiss of ESPNBoston.com. “That, to me, isn’t progress.” at last someone realizes that this needs to be worked out by people of reason, no by people charging by the hour! I have been pro-player and still am, they got a great deal the last time, they knew they would have to give back some, they lawyers are messing the whole thing up. Now i humble myself to you Mr. Kraft, the voice of reason in a storm of stupid!

  8. armchairgm9 says: Jun 9, 2011 3:46 PM

    Being excited the two sides are talking is like being excited that gas is below $4 a gallon. You’re happy, until you realize you’re still paying $3.98.

  9. mistrezzrachael says: Jun 9, 2011 3:50 PM

    Certain owners in this league…NE, Giants, Pitts, Balt…when they speak, you trust..Kraft one of them…Others, like Ross or Johnson…forget it.

    One poster above said had players not decertified the CBA would be done..and he’s 100% correct. Players made HUGE error not to further negociate owners strong offer..instead..this is where they are.

  10. endzonezombie says: Jun 9, 2011 3:52 PM

    “At what point can you stop calling them the not-so-secret negotiations and just call them negotiations? Its getting old…”

    Does it really matter? The time and place of the negotiations is not revealed so that the media is unable to interfere with the progress.

  11. eyamie says: Jun 9, 2011 3:55 PM

    It pains me to say it, but Kraft is the closest thing we’ve got a “steward of the game.” And he has been from the beginning.

  12. mmskin says: Jun 9, 2011 3:57 PM

    this loser lied and ripped off the state of connecticut why should any1 trust him

  13. CKL says: Jun 9, 2011 3:58 PM

    I am very happy Mr. Kraft owns the team I root for. He made some mistakes early on in his ownership and he learned from them instead of continuing to make them. That’s a sign of a good businessman.

  14. unbreakable02215 says: Jun 9, 2011 4:04 PM

    There’s an old saying when you go the litigation route. “No matter WHICH side is perceived to have won, the lawyers (both sides lawyers) ALWAYS win”.

  15. grpatriot says: Jun 9, 2011 4:11 PM

    Religion, Politics and add in Unions! Things that have to be discussed behind closed doors.. Kudo’s Mr. Kraft…The Patriots field a superior product every Sunday. Let’s just hope that continues?

  16. danimalk82 says: Jun 9, 2011 4:19 PM

    eyamie says: Jun 9, 2011 3:55 PM

    It pains me to say it, but Kraft is the closest thing we’ve got a “steward of the game.” And he has been from the beginning.

    To be honest he is the only one being vocal in the media about it, and whenever someone speaks through the media it ALWAYS concerns me how genuine the intentions are. But, on the surface at least he is in favor of progress and I’m down with that.

  17. aasukisuki says: Jun 9, 2011 4:25 PM

    Those of you saying the players screwed up by de-certifying really have no idea what you’re talking about.

    Under the recently expired CBA, the NFLPA had to decertify before the CBA expired, or wait for 6 months. If the NFLPA had not decertified, they would not have been able to file the anti-trust lawsuits which have spurred the latest rounds of negotiations, and instead the 2 sides would probably not be talking.

    Had the NFLPA not decertified, they would not have been able to file any lawsuits until August, which would have definitely resulted in a shortened/cancelled season.

    This is business. In business you make the moves that give you the most leverage. That’s exactly what the NFLPA did and should continue to do.

  18. waccoforflacco says: Jun 9, 2011 4:37 PM

    This is going to take a while since there are so many complex issues to sort through. The cap situation and the rookie draft contracts are major issues. There also has to be a way to raise and lower the amount of money the teams and players get based on the increase or decrease in revenues.

    This was a situation where the players salaries were always going up but the revenues the teams were receiving were NOT always going up. Some correction had to be implimented.

  19. Dynasty says: Jun 9, 2011 4:37 PM

    There will be a full season people. Read between the lines. By July everything will be back to normal!!! Let Fantasy Football begin!

  20. johnnyoclock says: Jun 9, 2011 4:38 PM

    Yawn.

    Whole lot of nothing.

  21. yzguy431 says: Jun 9, 2011 4:41 PM

    if one more player smokes a blunt….

  22. jbcommonsense says: Jun 9, 2011 5:10 PM

    The ”done in a week” prediction was never going to happen; I’d be thrilled with them getting done in early July.

  23. vetdana says: Jun 9, 2011 5:25 PM

    This is business. In business you make the moves that give you the most leverage. That’s exactly what the NFLPA did and should continue to do.

    There are a Great number of people who believe the litigation strategy was the WRONG approach for the NFLPA. If negotiations would have continued, we probably would have had a CBA now, instead…we have little leverage advantage, millions of dollarsspent in legal fees, delayed negotiatons and still the possibility of games or season lost. Add to that the many risks envolved in the litigation approach, and you have the reasons why ” cooler heads should have prevailed”.

  24. radrhatr says: Jun 9, 2011 5:27 PM

    In unrelated news, the country is happy about the current drop in gas prices, but forgot that they raised it $1.50 before they dropped it $.20.

  25. hullobudman says: Jun 9, 2011 5:29 PM

    Those of you saying the players screwed up by de-certifying really have no idea what you’re talking about.

    Under the recently expired CBA, the NFLPA had to decertify before the CBA expired, or wait for 6 months. If the NFLPA had not decertified, they would not have been able to file the anti-trust lawsuits which have spurred the latest rounds of negotiations, and instead the 2 sides would probably not be talking.

    Had the NFLPA not decertified, they would not have been able to file any lawsuits until August, which would have definitely resulted in a shortened/cancelled season.

    -OR-

    They would continue to talk and extend the CBA like they did twice. Do you not read the news and expect to make stuff up while no one calls you on it?

    At the very least put your bias aside and use actual facts…

  26. nflfan101 says: Jun 9, 2011 5:38 PM

    PFT wrote: “Long a proponent of getting the principals together without the involvement of the lawyers, Kraft said in February that the deal could be done within a week, without the attorneys.”
    ————————————–

    That’s the problem – there is still one lawyer (D. Smith) in the room and that lawyer does not want to negotiate, but he wants to litigate.

    Frankly, if both sides wanted a deal, a deal could/would have been done last March. But the truth, as proven by the facts, is that D. Smith does not want to make a deal. He walked out of CBA negotiations, decertified the union, had certain players file suit, and then did not attend at least one court ordered mediation session.

    As the saying goes: “talk is cheap”. The NFL needs to take off the gloves and call out D. Smith.

  27. buffedwhiteman says: Jun 9, 2011 5:49 PM

    Remove DeMaurice Smith big fore-head from the room CBA deal may be secured.

  28. theandy59 says: Jun 9, 2011 6:15 PM

    @wacco, the previous CBA gave the players 59% of the non-excluded revenue (the owner’s got to exclude some revenue sources, plus there was a flat $1 billion dollar exemption taken off the top). Therefore, player salaries could not rise without the total revenues rising. This is about the owners being unhappy with their split of the revenue, nothing more, nothing less. They want more.

    @hullo, the players would have been quite happy to extend the existing CBA, but it was clear that the owners weren’t going to do that. You don’t know much about negotiating if you think the players should have folded when the owners called their bluff. This was a use-it-or-lose-it tool so when backed into a corner, they used it.

  29. derekjetersmansion says: Jun 9, 2011 8:13 PM

    You have to remember these two sides HATED each other for most of the past year, especially at that hearing before Congress.

    I mostly blame Goodell because he’s the REAL face of the NFL. He now realizes that he represents the entire game, not just the owners. All the owners do is pay his salary. The fact he didn’t realize this before proves he’s a buffoon, maybe even an idiot.

  30. derekjetersmansion says: Jun 9, 2011 8:16 PM

    The players have NO reason to budge. The owners have every reason to budge. De Smith could’ve waited them out and get basically the last CBA in July because the owners need to pay for things and the first way to make money is training camp.

    Owners aren’t missing training camp…

  31. keeponhating says: Jun 9, 2011 8:22 PM

    Whether you like the patriots or not(I don’t personally) you can’t help but like Robert kraft. Except for the fact he calls the tuck rule game the snow bowl he seems like a good guy who wants the lockout to end as much as the fans do

  32. robertallen1958 says: Jun 9, 2011 8:25 PM

    @wacco, at last some one who understands, they (owners) want a bigger part of the pie, it is that simple, and they were prepared to not have the season this year, (hence the TV insurance contract). if in fact the union didn’t decertifiey then we would be sitting on our hands till God knows when! these owner shrills just drink the kool aide and beleive everything Roger tells them

  33. ampats says: Jun 9, 2011 9:39 PM

    keeponhating,

    it is the snowbowl game because whether you agree with the call or ot the “tuck rule” has not changed in almost ten years. The Raiders still lost the game.

    Enjoy the roughing the passer call in 1977 which was the biggest phantom call in the history of the NFL.That call changed a game.

    The tuck rule only exposed the Raiders as a mentally weak team that folded under pressure because of a legitimate call that didn’t go their way.

    When are the Raider fans going to admit that still their team could have won that game but CHOKED.First allowing the Patriots to tie it and then losing in OT

    Bob Kraft is a great owner who understands the NFL brand”shield”.

    Proud to be a Pats fan and GO BRUINS!!

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