It’s become regarded as a given that, when the time comes for the Patriots to decide the offer that will be made to Tom Brady, coach Bill Belichick — and only coach Bill Belichick — will determine the structure and amount of the deal. Some league insiders with knowledge of the dynamics in New England wonder whether it will actually come to that.
As one such source wondered aloud on Thursday in Indianapolis, what if owner Robert Kraft eventually tells Belichick that he has to do whatever it takes to keep Brady? Belichick wouldn’t like it, but some still believe that Kraft pulled that same trump card in 2017, when the team handed Jimmy Garoppolo to the 49ers for a second-round pick.
With plenty of Patriots fans poised to blame Kraft (which makes no sense whatsoever) if Brady leaves, Kraft may feel compelled to exercise his ownership privilege to ensure that Brady stays put.
Of course, if Brady senses that Belichick is ultimately proceeding against his wishes, Brady may be even more inclined to leave. Still, if it comes to that, it could be easier to get people in Boston and beyond to realize that, if Brady leaves, it will have happened because Brady wants to leave and/or because Belichick wants that outcome as well. Although it should already be obvious that Kraft wants Brady to stay, it may take a power play from ownership to get some to conclude that, of all the people who could be or should be blamed for Brady scratching a 20-year itch, Kraft should not be one of them.