As quarterback Tom Brady and the New England Patriots move closer toward the moment at which it will be time to poo or get off the loo, it’s becoming more clear that the decisions to be made by Patriots coach Bill Belichick will be final.
Tom Curran of NBC Sports Boston reports that owner Robert Kraft will not intercede to ensure that Brady will remain a Patriot for a 21st season.
Per Curran, if the gap between Brady and Belichick is small, Kraft will try to nudge them together. At a certain point, though, Kraft won’t pull rank or otherwise force the man who runs the football operations in New England to do something he doesn’t want to do.
Curran explains that the persistent belief that Kraft will trump Belichick comes from the lingering opinion that Kraft pulled strings to get Belichick to trade Brady’s backup, Jimmy Garoppolo, to the 49ers in 2017. Curran disputes this notion, something Kraft vehemently disputed at the time reports of his intervention emerged, bluntly calling it a “lie.”
While plenty of owners meddle (it’s one of the most often misused benefits of being an owner), Kraft has allowed Belichick to do his thing for 20 years — and it’s worked. Why would Kraft tell Belichick that he has to pay Brady or otherwise make a commitment that Belichick doesn’t want to make? At a time when some see reasons to believe that Father Time is in the process of taking Tommy down, only one person is in prime position to make that assessment. And Belichick will decide, without regarding to sentiment or history or name on the jersey or potential local backlash, the terms that should be offered.
The broader question that rarely gets addressed in this context is whether Belichick, fully aware that Father Time is undefeated, would rather make the move now, given the various veteran options that are available at quarterback. But Belichick won’t be sharing his plans with anyone until the time comes to implement them.
That time is coming. And the point for now is that, whatever Belichick plans to do, Kraft plans to let Belichick do it. Which is exactly the way Kraft should play it.