Robert Kraft will be out of country during next week’s talks

One of the fun little nuggets in Michael Silver’s piece on labor talks Friday was the story of Patriots owner Robert Kraft growing frustrated with NFL outside counsel Bob Batterman’s “legalese” during negotiations.

Well, we can guarantee we won’t hear a similar story next week. notes that Kraft will be out of the country on a 10-day trade mission to Israel and the United Kingdom.  Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick will also be part of the mission.

Kraft’s absence highlights a relative lack of involvement from NFL owners in the face-to-face mediated negotiations.  The one day the owners brought a big contingent — last Wednesday — preceded progress being made on Thursday.

We don’t read that much into the owners staying out of the room, other than it shows their total confidence in NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and his staff.

UPDATE:  NFL spokesman Greg Aiello points out via Twitter that “[t]here’s phone service in Israel.”

26 responses to “Robert Kraft will be out of country during next week’s talks

  1. So 1/32nd of the owners, who don’t even attend the negotiations anyway, are leaving the country for a week.

    I’m glad we have this breaking news. This is super relevant.

  2. The owners got bored. They were watching the little fellow in the colorful suits, expecting him to break into a Bojangles Bill soft shoe, or perhaps a slapstick routine. But he just sat there and glowered the whole time flapping his finger against his lips.

  3. and don’t forget, his son Jonathon “Thanks Dad” Kraft will be around to take his place

  4. Mr. Kraft seems like he’s the only owner truthly concerned by the labor dispute and I am saying this as a football fan not a Patriot fan.

  5. OR, you could read into the owner’s absence in the room that an eventual lockout is a foregone conclusion, and that the NFL putting on a dog and pony show to make it appear to the public that they’re trying to reach a settlement.

  6. I’d be willing to bet that he has access to a phone at all times…maybe even a ‘text’.

  7. When Mo showed up wearing a helmet yesterday, Bob Kraft thought it might be a good time to remove himself from the war zone. Go somewhere safer, like the Middle East.

  8. I am guessing he will have all of the communication toys with him

    Go To Meeting

    Nothing to see here…move along, move along

  9. Kraft is the man! As a Patriots fan, I can tell you that things for our franchise got better almost the instant he took over.

    He’s smart. He’s insightful. And he has a vision for his organization. And no he isn’t a part of Kraft Foods. His company makes boxes. He’s a Columbia and Harvard grad. And he’ll tell you this about football, “Since I’ve owned the Patriots I’ve had two coaches, two quarterbacks and one wife.” He’s immensely loyal.

    Before him from 1960 to 1994: One AFC title and a loss in the Super Bowl.

    Since him: Five AFC titles, Three Super Bowl victories, a 16-0 regular season, a new stadium(funded by him) and a mall experience around the stadium unparallelled by any other.

    Wait. How many L’s in unparallelled?

  10. Go Bob.
    This whole thing is focused on the “have not” owners. The ones who are stupid.
    I’m not Jewish… but enjoy Israel.
    I hear it’s great this time of year.

  11. Yeah Kraft funded his own stadium by taking out huge loans. Loans he can’t pay and why he’s now spearheading this lockout to get more money.

    Ditto for Jones, Richardson, and Bowlen, they all took out huge loans to build their stadiums, now they want the players to pay their debts.

  12. FoozieGrooler says: Mar 5, 2011 3:01 PM

    “So, the lawyers are getting in the way.

    Give me the old days when owners like Rooney would sit down with the NFLPA over lunch and work this out.”

    The first player who brought an agent to deal with Vince Lombardi was asked to wait a minute. When Lombardi came back in the room, Jim Ringo had been traded to the Eagles. Ah, the good old days!

  13. Canyonero says:
    Mar 5, 2011 5:55 PM
    He’s looking more and more like William Shatner.


    Damn….Your ……..right….. He does …….look….like me.

    William Shatner

  14. sigyoo you should know your history a little better. aside from the paper business, kraft’s fortune also came from real estate. he owned the patriots property long before he was the owner of the team.

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