Tommy Kelly wants to know if Patriots are about winning or money


On Monday night, the Patriots suffered an embarrassing blowout loss to the Chiefs.  Earlier that day, potent quotes from former Patriots defensive tackle Tommy Kelly landed on his current team’s website.  Kelly’s comments were largely unnoticed in the aftermath of the 41-14 nightmare for New England.

“I couldn’t take busting my tail every day getting to a game and them taking me out of the game for someone who I know isn’t better than me, because he’s a cheaper option,” Kelly told the Cardinals’ website, in remarks spotted by Ben Volin of the Boston Globe.  “Are we worried about money here?  Or are we worried about winning?

The Cardinals currently are about winning, so they pounced on Kelly as the replacement for Darnell Dockett, who tore an ACL in August.

The Patriots cut Kelly two days before abruptly trading Pro Bowl guard Logan Mankins, a cost-cutting move that has backfired on the team, in more ways than one.  Apart from the obvious reduction in the quality of offensive line play, some players aren’t happy with the timing of the decision to squeeze Mankins into taking less money.

Per a league source, the request that Mankins take less money for 2014 came not long before the trade happened.  The eleventh-hour squeeze play put Mankins in a tough spot, and he opted to hold firm.  The move also has prompted speculation and suspicion that coach Bill Belichick was exacting a measure of payback for Mankins’ ugly holdout in 2010.

So whether it’s about saving money or settling scores, it’s fair to wonder whether personnel decisions have been made with an eye toward winning games or with other objectives in mind.  Either way, the Pats aren’t winning as many games as they need to, and it could get worse tonight with the 3-0 Bengals coming to town.

54 responses to “Tommy Kelly wants to know if Patriots are about winning or money

  1. They’re panicking over their inability to win a bowl after they got caught cheating. It’s over and they know it. They’re just grabbing what dollars are left of their quickly fading cheating past.

  2. I have a News Flash for Tommy Kelly and his 1o games he played for the Patriots….. Get over it …The Patriots were here before you and will be here long after you…The Patriots have cut ties with dozens of players with far more talent…..the line is to the left Kelly………..Pats 27 -Bengals 10…….

  3. Coming from a Raider fan, “busting my tail” and “Tommy Kelly” were two phrases that never got put together. Unless the phrase in the beginning is “Will we ever see”.

  4. As a lifelong Pats fan (since the Jim Plunkett years) can I say I’m more than ready for the post-Bellichick era? I don’t care if it means a return to the dire, lean years of yore – I’ve lived through them before and I can live through them again. Just go away you cranky egoist; I can no longer defend your decisions…

  5. Funny… When Peyton Manning played with one of the worst offensive lines and defenses for a decade in Indy, it was always on him for not making it to the Super Bowl… it was a “choke” job any time he’d lose.

    Tom Brady won 3 SB’s in large part due to his o-line and defense… And now that they are not there anymore, none of the responsibility falls on him. It must be someone else’s fault.

    Brady was given all the credit when the TEAM was great… he should take all the blame when the TEAM is bad. Can’t have it both ways.

  6. The Patriots’ handling of Mankins was disastrous. If it was to settle scores, it backfired bad. The interior of the Patriot OL is extremely weak now. Connolly would be the weak link on the line, except Wendell is even worse. They’re also trotting out a rook at OC (Stork). And they decide to hardguy it with Mankins.


    And speaking of Tommy Kely’s point about winning, why is Aaron Dobson a repeated “healthy scratch” week in and week out, when all Brady has is Edelman and a coming-back-from-a-blown-knee Gronk? And then there’s all the conflicting excuses (errrr, “reasons”) they give on that.

  7. Easy to beat up on the Pats the way they played this season, but Kelly’s (and yes he could help the Pats) comments don’t ring true. He was an economic bargain after restructuring earlier.

    Secondly, yes Logan Mankins would help, but anyone that thinks he was playing like a $6 mil+ guard clearly didn’t watch the last 8 games in 2013 or the AFC Denver game.

  8. Ladies and gentlemen, this story is what you call, “beating a dead horse.” The media have waited decades for the Pats to slip, now it’s pile on time

  9. Patriots need to bring in a real GM. Bill has tried to do less with more and it doesn’t work I’d rather have five Super Bowl titles to 12 years of winning record

  10. You can say what you want about Kelly, but BB’s arrogance has a bad side and we are seeing it this year with the Mankins trade, the lack of offensive talent for Brady to work with, and how putridly his assistants do when they move out on their own.

  11. Obviously tommy their about winning but they cant pay their players only so much because the technology needed to cheat these days is expensive. So they want to pay them but cheating to win is more important.

  12. When the Bengals use those pats as toilet paper tonight we will all get to hear yet another week about how the mighty have fallen, when in reality the patriots just are not very good and the Bengals are ready for a deep playoff run.

    Bengals 30 – Patriots 3

  13. Tommy K and many others show themselves as ignorant when they suggest that the franchise with the best record in football over the last 15 years doesn’t care about winning.

    And yes, they look pretty bad right now and getting rid of Kelley and Mankins were probably mistakes, but they have a solid track record of making the right calls more often than not.

  14. Kraft needs to sell the team if he’s going to be a cheapskate and not spend money to field a winning team. This is an absolute disgrace. Patriots already have the highest ticket prices in the league.

  15. Since 2001 I believe the pats have only missed the playoffs one year, that would be the year Brady went down, and we still went 11-5. I don’t think there has been a losing season since 2001. For all you bitter spygate clingers, we’ve still been to two Super Bowls since then and damn near had a perfect season. There isn’t a knowledgable fan of the NFL who wouldn’t give anything to have the success the pats have had since the Brady/Hoodie era has started, warts and all. Things happen, pre season the pats were a lot of peoples pick to win it all, but the outright dominance we have had, which isn’t supposed to be possible in the salary cap era, can’t last forever. We might have a down year or two, but it looks like we have a franchise QB waiting in the wings, and I doubt we will be “rebuilding” very long. So enjoy it while you can haters, it happens to every team and while the pats have had a longer run than anyone, ever, it was bound to come to an end sometime.

  16. Kelly was working on a massively reduced, restructured contract. The difference between what he was making and the guy they brought up behind him was not large. So I’d say this decision was more oriented to retaining youth and future upside than money.

  17. I understand Pats’ fans wanting to defend Belichick, given how much success he has brought the team, but as good as he has been as a coach, he really hasn’t brought the same acumen as a GM.

    His handling of the Mankins matter is a perfect example. Yes, Mankins may not have been playing up to his salary, but Belichick clearly underestimated his value to the Pats. I don’t see why Belichick should get a pass for this error in judgment.

  18. Sounds like sour grapes from a an older player coming off an injury who was outplayed by younger and less expensive players. If saving the money means the Pats can resign Revis or extend some of their young all pros that are coming up due for contracts then it makes sense. It’s not an either/or situation.

  19. Hard to say what’s really going on New England in regards to personnel decisions. My guess is there are two things at play here; the Kraft’s have a real dollar budget (not the salary cap) and hold Bill to it and Bill has and always will value his system over individual players.

    I just don’t see Bill ever changing his stance on player evaluations which is why I have serious doubts about his ability to be a successful GM. Bill has proven time and time again that he looks for coachable players who fit into his system rather than drafting best available talent and adjusting to your rosters strengths and weaknesses.

    As for the Kraft’s….. It’s hard for me to criticize ownership when I consider the body of work. But when I look at how Denver is handling the Manning situation and the 10+ million in cap room the Patriots have I just don’t know how anyone can say that ownership has done everything they can to surround Brady with the talent he needs to win a 4th Super Bowl.

  20. Weren’t 2 of those alleged dynasty SB wins OVER 10 YEARS AGO won by your KICKER – Pats fans?

    I can’t remember because it has been at least a decade. Not very “greatest of all time like”.

  21. Not sure why a guy who’s now on another team and still getting an NFL paycheck is bitching so much about a former team.

    The Pats paid him, they released him, that’s it. They didn’t withhold any pay or do anything to Kelly that should have him running his mouth.

    Obviously he’d rather still be on the Pats and not AZ.

  22. Smart money decisions are supposed to help you win with greater probability if you properly pair those objectives. There is not a favorable proportion of profits to be made by only playing for money like there is in baseball where that principle is very much in play.

  23. That’s great Tommy, Raider fans were asking the SAME question to you after YOU got paid. Your paycheck went up and your production went down!!! You obviously haven’t figured out yet that the NFL is a bid’ness.

  24. sure the pats haven’t won in awhile but they the trolls make it seem like the pats won their sb’s and faded into obscurity. they will went to 2 other sb’s, how many teams can say that? and a few afc title games.
    i love the double standard. people talk about andy reid being a winning coach yet he’s never won anything. lol

    GO PATS!!!

  25. My entire life is based on the words of wisdom from Tommy Kelly. . He’s a guy who signed a big contract with the Raiders and physically retired while collecting his checks.

  26. Right since it is as though they have Jaguars like cap space and a Jaguars like roster. Give me a break. I’d think a team that has been to three consecutive AFC championship games is about winning.

    This is a team that is a popular media pick to get to the superbowl which logically means the majority feel (or felt) the roster is solid. Suddenly because they are under-performing the roster is now complete junk and full of cheap scrubs.

    Either all these people have no clue how to judge a team or they are simply saying this stuff now because they can’t accept their beloved Patriots can struggle and under-perform.

  27. Imagine Tom Brady in AZ…that indoor stadium, that defense, Ellington, Fitz, Floyd, Smokey Brown, Carleson, Ginn, Housler, Niklas…

    Palmer hurt with a slow healing nerve injury. Trouble in NE. The Lord works in mysterious ways.

  28. Everyone seems to leave out the fact that the Krafts are cheap SOBs who’s financial line doesn’t meet the salary cap. Belechick has to work within their (krafts) budget.

    While the Krafts continually escape blame, I find Belechik taking all of it. While he does deserve some blame here, the amount of PR the krafts have produced obviously has kept their “Frugalness” hidden away under the perception of them being the greatest thing since sliced bread. .

  29. Patriots are cheaters, period. They got caught and they haven’t won anything since. You do the math

  30. for the past 10 years any fool can see the Patriots have been attempting to field a competitive team on the cheap. Now those chickens have come home to roost. Or as Herman Cain said, “blame yo’self!”

  31. As a Pats fan, I think Kelly would have helped the team. However, this is a business and the fact that Kelly is up there in years AND is coming off of a serious injury and is getting a higher salary that other players is probably he was released. I don’t think it as money alone.

    I think if Kelly was healthy last year the decision may have been different. The Patriots can’t keep Willfork and Kelly coming off injuries and with age concerns and not worry about the future as well as the current year. Injuries can happen to any player and every team has them so what would the reaction have been if Kelly was sidelined. The reason Kelly was picked up was in part due to the injures to Cardinal D Linemen.

  32. The Raiders already delt with Tommy Penalty King Kelly… The Patsys should ask Tommy whether he is about playing football or creating drama!!!! Good player but too apt to go off-side and create locker room drama. Free-agency here he comes….

  33. Can someone explain to these people that there is this thing called the salary cap of $133M. It’s mind boggling people complain about a team being cheap when most of them are spending roughly THE SAME AMOUNT OF MONEY on 53 players! The only thing that can really be criticized is how that money is distributed. Not how much is spent. Ridiculous.

  34. As Theismann said, and he knows a little more about football and quarterbacks than the knucklehead haters posting here: Brady has done more with less than anyone else. The Pats made the Super Bowl with the 30th ranked defense. That is ridiculous. Kraft is a money grabbing
    weasel and now the team is comprised of journeyman especially on the o line.

  35. It’s funny seeing Raiders fans complain about Kelly.

    He’s playing fine.

    Besides Reggie McKenzie got rid of him, so you know he’s good.

  36. Attention fearthehoody and every pats fan out there:

    Be ready to take your medicine.

    Your “holier than thou” attitude has come full circle and is about to bite you on the arse.

    Don’t blame the media for calling the patriots out after giving them preferential treament for the past 10 years.

    Despite your efforts, you can not have it both ways.

    Not to mention karma getting to that sleazy, filandering old man owner of yours.

    The fans of the other 31 teams are looking forward to watching the patriots fall fast and hard.

    You earned it- now take your medicine. There will not be another savior taken at #199…

  37. Here’s why this is untrue. The Pats saved 800k by cutting kelly. Big deal, they’re 14 mil under the cap. Not a money issue. Their 1rst rnd pk was a DT and they decided to go young. AZ signed Kelly after several DL got hurt. He’s old coming off a bad injury.

    This nonsense about the Pats being cheap is spread by agents and older players. The Pats spend close to the cap every yr. They just refuse to pay older vets stupid contracts that get them into cap jail with players that can’t play anymore. Like for example, the Steelers do. They make very few mistakes. That’s why they’ve been the most dominant team in the salary cap era. Even Mankins, who didn’t play to his contract as one of the highest paid guards in FB, was asked to take a pay cut. He refused and the Pats moved on. Their mistake was thinking they had a viable replacement.

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