I feel bad for Robert Kraft. He'll never recover from the P.R. hit he has taken for surrendering to the NFL.
The letter to Roger Goodell asking for the return of the Patriots' two draft picks back was a feeble attempt to please the New England public while simultaneously playing nice with Roger Goodell. Sorry, Robert. You can't do both.
The challenge for Kraft is that the coach gets the credit when you win, and the owner gets the criticism when you lose . . . either on the field or in the NFL owner’s circle. It doesn’t matter what Kraft does or accomplishes in the future. He won't live this down. And that sucks.
The only way Kraft can win over his public is to sue the league, and that's not going to happen. Sure, he could have appealed to the NFL -- like Kansas City did in the Jeremy Maclin tampering case -- but, as we learned with the letter, they weren't going to win. Their only chance, and it's a remote one, to get the picks back is to go to court, and that's just not in Kraft's DNA.
Me? I'd the get the best legal team money can buy and go straight after Goodell and my so-called "business partners”. What are the other owners going to do if he sues the league? Kick him out?
But Kraft isn't me. For some reason, he likes having a seat at the table with the likes of Goodell, Jerry Jones and Jerry Richardson. After what those dirt bags did to him, why would he want to be in the same restaurant with these guys? What's the purpose? Do the Patriots make more money if their owner is a “player” or a “power broker”? I don’t think so. The TV checks to each owner are all the same.
Kraft has choice to make. He can be popular with the masses or he can sit with the cool kids in the NFL cafeteria. It seems he wants to be with the cool kids. Because of that choice, he will never be viewed the same by his fan base.
While I believe this to be fact, I also think it's grossly unfair.
The reality is, it doesn't matter whether Kraft fought or capitulated. The Patriots -- and Tom Brady -- were going to get nailed by the NFL. In defense of Kraft, the right play at the time was to try and play nice because bringing the hammer guaranteed defeat. He tried to play nice and lost. I can’t fault him. That was his only shot.
So try to understand Robert Kraft’s position and forgive him for the way he played this no-win situation.
However, I realize you probably won’t.
If you want get mad at Kraft for something, it’s for supporting a boob like Goodell for commissioner in the first place. I bet he'd love a mulligan on that one.