Robert Kraft “confident that an agreement will be reached”

Patriots owner Robert Kraft said during the 2010 season that it would be criminal for a work stoppage to interrupt the NFL at a time when the league is more popular than ever. Now that the “criminal” work stoppage has begun, Kraft says the fault is the union’s, for never really wanting to negotiate.

But Kraft also says a deal will get done that allows the 2011 season to be played.

“I think the actions of the union to end the mediation process and walk away from Friday’s offer clearly showed their true intentions to take this process to litigation all along,” Kraft said in a statement released by the team. “While disappointed by their action to decertify, I remain confident that an agreement will be reached and that the 2011 season will be played. I know that the owners are committed to this process, but that the quickest way to do so is through continued negotiation, not litigation. For the sake of all involved, the owners, the players and most importantly, the fans, I hope we return to the negotiating table very soon.”

So Kraft is following the same company line as the rest of the owners and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, all of whom are placing the blame on the union for deciding to litigate rather than negotiate.

And fans will continue to care very little whether the blame goes to the owners or the players, and care quite a lot about whether or not Kraft is right that the 2011 season will be played. Anything less than the 2011 season going off as scheduled would be criminal.

46 responses to “Robert Kraft “confident that an agreement will be reached”

  1. Well, I’m not going to hold these words against Kraft. The NFL ownership is a union in it’s own right. In all unions you have idiots and really smart classy guys. I’ve always considered Kraft to be one of the smart class type.

    My fault with Kraft is this, why didn’t you get involved sooner? With your intellect, savvy and charisma this might have been solved sooner.

    And please, to all involved – players, owners, and lawyers… Stop telling me how important I am and start showing me how important I am. Best way to do that is get a deal done and stop lying in front of cameras. Maybe some fans will choose to take sides like morons, but there are smart ones that have been paying attention for a few years now…

  2. It’s been less than 24 hours, and the rhetoric is already getting old. The owners, the players, the NFL, the NFLPA, all telling the world they care about the fans. It’s kind of like cigarette manufacturers making “light” cigarettes because they care about their customers health. Enough with the BS…

  3. My god one day in and everybody acts as if the sky has fallen in. No games missed, no training camp delays. Nothing’s happened. If everybody is as greedy as most proclaim to believe then neither side will want to miss out money. There’s pressure but not from the fans.

  4. LOL at Kraft. He’s been saying that since the NFL agreed to opt out of the existing agreement. I seriously don’t think he cares.

  5. Kraft cheese needs to shut his mouth n get this deal done soon…I need to beat the patriots this year, its been to long.

    Go BILLS!!!

  6. Didn’t Bob head for Israel while all this was happening? I’ve always thought of Kraft as one of the better owners, but slamming the players isn’t a “better owner” kinda thing to do right now, Bob. Maybe you should have stayed at the negotiating table. 🙄 Flame-throwing isn’t productive. How about working on getting that deal done instead?

  7. You know, one element of this that hasn’t been discussed much is how a cancellation of the season would affect the national economy. Just think of all the areas which would be harmed:

    1. Airlines
    2. Hotels and Motels
    3. Restaurants
    4. Parking Lots
    5. Concession stands/workers
    6. Ticket scalpers (lol)
    7. Taxis
    8. Nightclubs
    9. T-shirt/clothing makers
    10. DVD producers
    11. Grocery Stores
    12. Gas Stations
    13. Metro Area Transit
    14. Movie Theatres
    15. Charities
    16. Advertising

    I hope both sides understand that we really really really need NFL football because it helps the economy in so many ways.

  8. Mr. Kraft, you are the man. You give us all hope. We need that just as we need the NFL. Thanks Bob, and keep up the good work.

  9. Anyone who believes this crap is “simple” doesn’t really understand the process.

    Both sides are to blame for this mess, both sides need to work it out. If the owners REALLY think their “we are perfectly reasonable and the good guys and it is the evil, greedy players who are to blame for this mess” company line will be seen as credible by the fans they’re dreaming.

  10. Owner: My profit margin is declining and I need to reduce
    your pay.
    Employee: No way! I made you all the money. You have to
    show me your books for the last 10 years and then,
    I may decide if I warrant a pay cut or not!
    Owner: Perhaps you are forgetting a little detail: I SIGN
    your paychecks. And the last time I checked, you
    work for ME!
    Employee: I am going to sue you.
    Owner: I can hire better lawyers. And you are out of here!

  11. Sounds like MDS is taking the easy way out by striking an “objective” pose by blaming both sides.

    The truth is that only one side wanted a deal, and it wasn’t the players. The NFLPA is the guilty party here, and just once I want to see one of the PFT writers (let alone any national NFL writer) take a stand and show some balls on the record.

    Sometimes “objectivity” is really bias and/or cowardice in disguise.

    Just call it like it is already.

  12. Urgg. Would you google Robert Kraft? He’s a self made millionaire. Started with a parking lot by the old stadium…… Stop with the cheese remarks, it’s ignorant!

  13. Um, Deb, they were sitting at that table…..with an offer….while the union walked away with no counter offer…..for ANY offer. The unions only offer was status quo.

  14. Oh please. The owners have been plotting a lockout for years. It’s why they negotiated for lockout insurance. They knew they would opt out of the agreement.

  15. I have to wonder what Kraft feels about Tom Brady, the guy Kraft has treated so well and considers “family”, affixing his name to this legal case.

    I’ve been a Tom Brady fan since Drew Bledsoe burst a lung, but I’m very disappointed he chose to allow his name to be used this way. Logan “10 million a year is an insult” Mankins, I can live with.

  16. I think when all is said and done, the fans may come out the winners here. I predict that the NFL AND it’s players will be kissing the fans’ azzes for a couple of seasons. Maybe in the form of lower ticket prices, free or heavily discounted gifts and merchandise, etc.

    If they fail to give something back; as what MLB and Hockey did, then you’re looking at NFL football being America’s second or even third national sport. I believe the NFL realizes this.

  17. As someone said earlier, no games lost. No training camp cancelled. Nothing. Everyone, please come in off the ledge. It’s all hype on both sides right now. The greedy bastards will NOT throw away a penny when push comes to shove.

  18. “I think the actions of the union…showed their true intentions to take this process to litigation all along.”

    Hey Ownerboy — you ain’t helping.

  19. liontomyself says: Mar 12, 2011 4:34 PM

    Um, Deb, they were sitting at that table…..with an offer….while the union walked away with no counter offer…..for ANY offer. The unions only offer was status quo.
    You have forgotten, the NFLPA DID make a counter offer. They were willing to extend the negotiations to hammer out the league’s proposal. They’re one stipulation was for full disclosure.

    Just because one side offers a proposal, doesn’t mean one has to take it; especially if the proposal never addressed the NFL’s main complaint that it’s teams are facing hardships. Without the full disclosure of it’s financial data (transparency), then the NFL’s claim is nothing but hot air and a ploy. If the league would only open their books, then we likely would never be at this point.

    In a business partnership model, transparency is CRITICAL to cooperation and labor/management peace. If one side cites claims of hardship, but chooses to “hide” or “protect” financial aspects of it’s claim, how is the other side going to trust in what the other is saying as truth?

    The bottom line is that the league wants the money from the players in this partnership, but in return don’t want to show WHY they need more money or WHERE the money will be going to, or HOW it will be used.

  20. goawayeverybody , thank you for bring to light just how many business will be affected by this. Its more than just the players and the owners, and you know what, the players and the owners could care less how it effects other people.

  21. I believe that this whole debacle shows the level of selfishness on both sides. They don’t care about each other and despite what each side says in front of the cameras, they DO NOT care about the fans. They do not care how many countless family’s and households across the country that are and will be devastated by their actions. Both sides only see what directly benefits them right now. It’s a shame that these people are afforded this type of lifestyle just because they won the genetic lottery.

  22. Deb,

    Usually your comments are well researched. Bob Kraft went on this trip with Deval Patrick Gov-Mass along with a group of people which was planned long ago. I don’t believe you cancel a trip of that importance to sit in on a prolonged negoiation.

    Anyway I ask you as a Steelers fan where was Art Rooney Sr ? Still in Ireland.

  23. scytherius says:
    Mar 12, 2011 4:35 PM
    Oh please. The owners have been plotting a lockout for years. It’s why they negotiated for lockout insurance. They knew they would opt out of the agreement.


    I will take this one step further…….and blame that on the union as well.
    EVERYONE knew they would opt out because it was a bad deal…….seriously, why would the owners insist on (and the union agree to) an opt out clause if it was a great deal for the owners?
    The owners also new the Union would not negotiate a new CBA (status quo is great for the players)…….and it is proven true because the union has not negotiated….they offered status quo and walked away. So, the owners knew the decertification was coming and their only choice is to lock out (forced to lock out). The other choices would bring even more anti trust lawsuits…..the union forced this….it is proven because losing the “lockout insurance’ did not prevent the lockout.

    IMO, the lockout insurance was the best for the owners AND the players future……and the players destroyed that.
    Now that there is no insurance and the lock out has commenced….what will happen when the owners default on their loans (I have no idea, I am curious)?
    Say the cap is indeed $161M and the owners lose money during the lockout and then more during blackouts next year all while defaulting on their loans. What funds do they increase the salary cap with next year? Lockout insurance would have prevented that and helped the owners long term vision…to continue the profitablity of the league. The players don’t see the long term…they want money now…..and status quo……and they hope Doty will agree with them.

    So, I say the players are the ones who plotted this (they knew when they agreed to the opt out clause, they would never agree to anything less than what they have now and would decertify instead of negotiating). The owners reacted to it and we are where we are today.

  24. I see a few of you haven’t forgotten that this is a “lockout” not a strike, and a lockout is originated by the owners, not the players. So the rhetoric is “the union wouldn’t take our offer”, when perhaps the owners wouldn’t admit they spent themselves silly and caused their own problems be it outrageous spending on stadiums, rookie contracts or free agents. The solution to their wild spending was to take a billion dollars from the players or put them into a greater chance for injury by playing 18 regular games.
    That said, being one of the most elderly folks at this site, this offseason is going to resemble what football was 50 years ago. When the season ended, the players left. They didn’t come back to work until July. During the offseason, most of them had other jobs. There were no free agent signings since most players stayed with one team for many years. The draft was held, but that was it. There were no ‘mini-camps’, OTA’s, etc.
    It will be interesting to see the quality of play when the season resumes and the amount of injuries.
    What everyone needs to realize is the lockout isn’t a big deal until July. There’s no need to lose your mind over stuff now. Four months from now you can start to lose your mind.

  25. wetpaperbag2 says:

    You have forgotten, the NFLPA DID make a counter offer. They were willing to extend the negotiations to hammer out the league’s proposal. They’re one stipulation was for full disclosure.

    That was not an (counter) offer. That was a demand at zero hour (give it to us now or we go home).

    You mean to tell me they could not agree on all of the other terms, extended the negotiations and come to an agreement on how many years (and what) would become “transparent” so they could agree on how much to give back to the owners?

    That would be negotiating. What the union did was not. They wanted status quo (and never budged) which everyone knew was great for the players and not the owners (why have an opt out clause for the owners if that is not true?).

    But instead of remedying the situation (the CBA was going away no matter what) and negotiating……the union walked away and desolved. Now, everyone loses….and that is on the players.

  26. NFL vs. Union: Name one other private industry where employees are guaranteed over 50% of company revenue and/or can demand that their boss open his books and accuse him of earning too much so as to extract greater compensation? The NFL owners need to take stand for all private industry and make it clear that they will do with their own business whatever the hell they like! Take it or leave it!

    This is America, damn it! A man or woman should be able to set the plan, model, or compensation for his/her company without the entitlement attitude & demands of those benefitting from the opportunity said owner has provided for them to earn a living wage!

    I hope the NFL tells the now conveniently decertified players union to shove it up their arse! As soon as the season draws near and these irresponsible players are running low on tips for strippers or are no longer able to “make it rain” at the local club, they’ll be begging the union to cut a deal. The owners should just sit on their fortunes and wait out the ingrates.

  27. I wonder what Bob Kraft feels like after making Tom Brady one of the highest paid guys in the league (if not THE most paid guy) and now Brady has turned around to sue him. That has to make him happy.

    Not that the suit is a personal thing, but still…you just opened the vault for the guy and now he’s put his name on a lawsuit against your business. Nice!

    Anyways…i think both sides bear the blame and fault for this. If they truly were a partnership, they’d talk and the books would be opened and they can hammer out a deal from that point moving forward. But I understand from a union perspective…the NFL is asking for another BILLION off the top and they’re supposed to take the owner’s word on it? I’m sorry, but those billionaires didn’t get to that point with honesty, transparency, and whatnot. I side with the players on that. I also think the union had no plans on negotiating anything from the start and they planned to take this to the courts the entire time. DeSmith is a lawyer at heart…

    But I’m thinking the players overall may end up hurting their own cause taking this to court. As usual, the lawyers are the only ones getting richer.

  28. vomitingliberals…while I see where you’re coming from in your populist rant, this IS different. The players ARE the product. They’re not just a bunch of factory workers putting product in a box and shipping it out.

    That being said, if the owners want to they could use replacement players, subpar guys, etc…we’ll see how well their business does. The two sides need each other.

  29. @ goawayeverybody

    Don’t forget wagering ticket writers, both legal and illegal everywhere. And printers, peanut farmers, sports lounges and hundreds of other very small operations which depend on the season. Players and owners share responsibility for whacking Santa Claus on the foot. They ought not do worse.

  30. ytsejamer1 …. on the flip side, let’s give all the profit and expenses to the players and see how long the “product” stays in business.

    You are right. They need each other. But, the owners have made proposals (negotiated) and the players have not (status quo, we are at war).

  31. I am a season ticket holder with the Patriots. The ticket package is due by March 31.

    I emailed and called the Patriots asking them for an extension on the due date. I felt since it’s we are a part of a crime, I should have more time to pay off the tickets.

    I also proposed that we “cut the difference” between what they are charging and what i think is a fair price for 2 BS preseason games and 8 regular season games – and if all goes well, 2 playoff games where i get gouged for even more money than the regular season.

    No response yet…..

  32. So when it came right down to it , the union was rigid, inflexible and unyielding.

    Big surprise.

    Unions have become too powerful and are basically a very powerful force driven towards less productivity for the dollar paid. That’s really what they do…..and it will kill this country. Just look at Detroit. Nothing more to say.

  33. OK Mr. Kraft, so get your “star” QB to drop his lawsuit. Just cut him if he doesn’t. After all, he was just a 6th round draft pick, you can get them for a dime a dozen now.

  34. Kraft does not know a thing! He said before a agreement before March 4, then an agreement before March 11 so he says an agfreement will be before 2011 season? Gte ready for 8 game season begining in Nov when the players cave in when their wives complain about getting no money!

  35. I know both sides seem to be expending effort to convince fans of their position, including some posts here, but in reality our opinions do not count. Even if fans overwhelmingly blamed one side, it still would not make any difference.

    This work stoppage will not end until either the courts intervene or one side capitulates/compromises. The owners can hold out for a year, but I doubt the players can hold out that long.

    So instead of fantasy football, you will have pools and under/overs on the number of games lost.

    I think 8 games (1/2 season) is about right.

    Oh… and regardless of a few “a pox on both their houses,” fans will come back almost completely.

  36. @ampats …

    Honey, Art Sr. was six-feet under and has been since the 1980s. What a mess to have had him at the negotiating table!! (Forgive me, Chief.)

    Art Sr.’s son, Dan, is the U.S. Ambassador to Ireland–a post he earned because he has been involved in the Irish peace process for two decades. The peace process is now at a critical stage. And you’ll excuse me if I think that is somewhat more important than a trade junket with the governor 🙄

    Besides, Dan’s son Art II has been in charge of day-to-day operations of the Steelers for at least half a decade. And as president of the Steelers, he was at the negotiating table.

    I was well aware that Bob’s trade trip had been planned for some time. I simply think that since he was not at the negotiating table, Kraft shouldn’t have been bashing the union. Like I said, flame-throwing isn’t terribly productive right now and it’s all most of the owners have been doing … except Art II, who has been very diplomatic.

  37. ytsejamer1 says:

    vomitingliberals…while I see where you’re coming from in your populist rant, this IS different. The players ARE the product. They’re not just a bunch of factory workers putting product in a box and shipping it out.

    That being said, if the owners want to they could use replacement players, subpar guys, etc…we’ll see how well their business does. The two sides need each other.

    Indeed, the players are the product. That said, they are a product that reproduces itself year in and year out in mass quantity via the draft. It is also a product that is HEAVILY dependent upon making the financial most of it’s 1-12 year shelf life. Therefore, the owners easily remain in the driver’s seat because each year is incredibly valuable to the average player who earns roughly $1.7 million annually. The owners should tell them to go earn that kind of chedder elsewhere if they don’t like what they are cookin’.

    The players are absolutely comparable to a bunch of factory workers as you say, because while they will be inadequately replaced in the short term as you correctly state, they can be easily and comparably replaced in the long term. The owners are the only ones in this dispute with the financial stability to wait out events in the long term, while only the top 15% of the current NFL rosters could do the same, and even then their athletic clocks are ticking. Thus, they will ultimately cave in and accept the owners proposals as well they should. Again, if they don’t like it, they should seek their fortune elsewhere, maybe put those college degrees they got for free due to their athletic prowess to work for them. If not, take that $1.7 million that the average fan only dreams about earning and make a nice living playing a child’s game while they still can.

    So no, speaking long term, the owners do not “need” the current players. The NCAA will produce more who will lick their chops at the notion of pulling down that 1.7…

  38. Hey vomit,
    Good to see one of the plantation owners from the Civil War is still alive.
    Here’s something to consider(that hasn’t come from the Lollipop School of Economics),

    The players aren’t taking the same financial risks, but they ARE taking physical risks. I love reading crap like you spew after you see people like Mike Webster and what the league did to help, which was next to nothing. He spent many years working, and when he was done(and injured) no one knew his name.
    The union wouldn’t exist if the players didn’t need to protect themselves from the rotten mentality you and the management types spew.
    By the way, the NFL ‘product’ that you seem to think is meaningless interchangeable parts is really the cream of the crop from college. In your slow thinking, you seem to think a bunch of Div.III guys can do what the current crop do. I guess you don’t remember the “replacement players” the NFL OWNERS put on the field, using the same thinking you employ.
    The owners will stay rich even if the franchise goes down. The players stay hurt after they get their brains beaten in for your entertainment, troll.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.