While American fighter jets struck targets in Syria about 900 miles away, Tom Brady was in Qatar meeting with U.S. troops at Al Udeid Air Base in Doha, Qatar.
The Patriots quarterback, who arrived in Qatar on Thursday for his Best Buddies charity event, posed with troops, along with his son, and saluted the military personnel in an Instagram post.
The trip will most likely delay Brady's arrival at the Patriots' offseason training program, which begins Monday. Bill Belichick, while not mentioning Brady by name, did point out in his pre-draft press conference on Friday that there were to be excused absences for some players who had prior commitments.
In an audio recording obtained by the New York Times of the contentious October meeting between NFL owners and players over protests during the national anthem, Patriots owner - and friend of President Trump - Robert Kraft blasted Trump.
“The problem we have is, we have a president who will use that as fodder to do his mission that I don’t feel is in the best interests of America,” the Times quotes Kraft as saying. “It’s divisive and it’s horrible.”
Philadelphia Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie cautioned the players not to be baited by Trump, who earlier in the fall had called NFL players sons of bitches for kneeling during the anthem before games. Lurie called the Trump presidency "disastrous."
"We've got to be careful not to be baited by Trump or whoever else," Lurie said.
Many of the players told the owners that ex-49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who initiated the kneeling protest, was being blackballed by the owners.
"We all agree in this room that he should be on a roster," said former Patriots linebacker Chris Long, who recently retired after winning a Super Bowl with the Eagles.
The Patriots-picking-Lamar-Jackson rumors Thursday night in the first-round of the draft are bound to heat up in the next 24 hours after a report by Jenny Vrentas of Sports Illustrated's MMQB that the Louisville quarterback had a second workout for the Pats - this one a private session in South Florida for offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels.
Jackson, the Heisman Trophy winner in 2016, previously made a visit to Foxboro, where he even got a laugh out of Bill Belichick.
The Patriots, with picks No. 23 and 31 in the first round, would likely have to trade up to get Jackson, whose mobility is one of his key assets. Our Phil Perry has him going 15th to the Arizona Cardinals in his latest mock draft.
Speaking at the site of the draft in Dallas on Wednesday, Jackson, via NFL.com's Jeremy Bergman, sounded excited at the prospect of New England trading up to get him and he's sticking by his mother as his manager.
Jackson already has kind of an endorsement from Brady via Instagram earlier this month. And click here for our Mike Giardi on Jackson from our "Next Heir Up" series on possible Pats future QBs.