Patriots

Patriots owner Robert Kraft is now in for a rough ride

Patriots owner Robert Kraft is now in for a rough ride

So far, Robert Kraft has only peeked around the curtain to say, “Didn’t do it.”
 
That statement regarding his Florida arrest for soliciting a prostitute was chased by the promise “we will not be commenting further.”
 
That’s okay. The void left by Kraft’s “no comment” will be filled all weekend long. Over and over and over on every imaginable platform.
 
Did it, didn’t do it, who knows right now? The bottom line is the country’s most recognizable 77-year-old multi-billionaire was -- at the very least -- at the wrong place at the wrong time.
 
And you know what? Even if he just stopped in to ask directions and gave somebody $20 for their assistance, nobody’s really going to care or remember.

MORE ON KRAFT

 
The words “Kraft” and “prostitution” are going to be in a million chyrons across a billion television screens in the next few days.
 
Robert Kraft doesn’t just own the Patriots.
 
Since taking ownership of the team 25 years ago, Kraft has done more than preside over arguably the most impressive dynasty in pro sports. He’s also built a “brand” that transcends football.
 
He’s luxuriated in the exposure and deftly leveraged the platforms his NFL franchise served as a springboard for.
 
He’s pals with Donald Trump and Meek Mill and less than a month ago -- presumably after getting pinched -- was gyrating on stage with Cardi B. He shows up at the Oscars and the Grammys and is being honored this year with the 2019 Genesis Prize by Israel, where Kraft has taken scores of NFL players over the years on visits to the Holy Land.
 
He’s probably one of the most generous philanthropists in Massachusetts over the past 25 years. He was the leading owner in helping to broker labor peace between players and owners during the 2011 work stoppage.
 
He’s out front. Always. And as a result, he’s going to get it all.
 
He will be the butt of jokes, an object of derision, a receiver of unwelcome pats on the back, a yielder of the moral high ground, a symbol of power run amok, a guy just trying to take the edge off, a cad, a hero, a misogynist, a trampoline for the argument sex workers shouldn’t be shamed, a promoter of human trafficking, a lonely widower and an old hornball who should learn how to act his age.
 
He’ll probably have a few more labels affixed as well and the messy aftereffects -- again, regardless of the veracity of the charges -- will crop up time and again over the next few months until the reaction goes through the natural metamorphosis these “scandals” do: shock, outrage, amusement, fatigue, part of the past.
 
But first there will be the matter of the Patriots' White House visit. And then Kraft at the NFL Owners Meetings next month, where he’ll probably have to do a mea culpa while some owners stifle giggles and the rest think, “There but for the grace of God go I . . . "

MORE KRAFT

 
It’s not going to do any favors for his candidacy for the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Even though his accomplishments surpass those of Cowboys owner Jerry Jones (who went in last year), there’s no shortage of people in influential spots around the league that revel in any misfortune that visits itself on the Patriots.
 
This is the motherlode.
 
The whole thing has to be intensely embarrassing for Kraft and his family. Inevitably, it will be unfairly used as a cudgel to say he isn't what he's made himself out to be.
 
Robert Kraft may be a bit of a poser. He’s always, shall we say, a willing interviewee (which we in the media certainly appreciate). And he may be a little more self-congratulatory than people would like.
 
But those “transgressions” don’t undo the facts of his family’s contributions to the region or the fact that he built a professional football team that’s become as synonymous with New England as snow, ocean and bad driving.
 
For the next 48 to 72 hours, Robert Kraft is going to be held up and used as an example of a lot of things. Some will be fair, some will be unfair, none will be what you’re looking to be associated with at 77.
 
But as a wise man once said, “It is what it is.”

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.

Tom Brady's stay-at-home message contains healthy living tips amid pandemic

Tom Brady's stay-at-home message contains healthy living tips amid pandemic

Tom Brady is the latest athlete to record a stay at home message amid the coronavirus pandemic.

But his is a little different than the other ones you've already seen.

While most have spent time focusing on providing encouraging words to those dealing with the struggles of social distancing, Brady focused more on how to stay healthy amid the pandemic. Here's a look at his full message courtesy of the NFL's Twitter account.

This was a nice idea by Brady to give some tips to help people adjust to these unfamiliar living conditions. It also lines up pretty well with his health and lifestyle brand, TB12, so it's no surprise to see him preach the benefits of staying hydrated, being active, and eating nutrient-rich vegetables.

Of course, Brady did also have some words of encouragement for his audience and signed off by saying "I know we’re going to get through this together." So, that was a great gesture as well.

Brady will surely be focused on following these tips as he prepares for his first season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Brady spent the first 20 seasons of his career with the New England Patriots before signing with the Bucs this offseason.

NFL Odds: Here are the favorites to start at QB in Week 1 for the Patriots

NFL Odds: Here are the favorites to start at QB in Week 1 for the Patriots

The New England Patriots are facing uncertainty at quarterback for the first time in two decades. Tom Brady departed this offseason to join the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Patriots will need a new starting quarterback as a result.

That said, a favorite appears to be emerging to take over the job.

According to FanDuel Sportsbook, Jarrett Stidham is currently heavily favored to be the Patriots starter at least to kick-off 2020. Here's a look at the odds for each potential candidate at the position courtesy of FanDuel.

This lines up pretty well with what has come out of Patriots camp since Brady's departure. They seem to believe that Stidham is their future at quarterback, so why wouldn't they give him a shot to start? While Brian Hoyer isn't too far behind Stidham (+250), he's likely only that high because he has the most starting experience of the three passers currently on the Patriots depth chart.

The more interesting parts of these odds are the ones relating to veterans and rookies not currently on the team. Cam Newton (+900) leads the pack among the veteran options and is one of two non-Patriot quarterbacks ahead of presumed third-stringer Cody Kessler. The other is Andy Dalton (+1000).

While Newton is available, the Patriots don't have much in the way of cap space. So, it seems unlikely that they would sign him unless they have minimal confidence in the quarterback options on their roster or if one of their options suffers an injury down the road.

As for the rookies, Jacob Eason (+1900) actually leads the pack by a fair bit. He's still a longshot, but his odds are much better than the triage of other rookie passers listed; Justin Herbert, Jake From, and Jordan Love come in at +2600.

Listen and subscribe to Phil Perry's Next Pats Podcast here: 

Is this a sign that the Patriots like Eason? They're notoriously tight-lipped about the draft process, so it's hard to say. But if Eason continues to considerably lead the rookie pack as the draft draws nearer, that should be a good indication that the Pats have their eye on him.

Either way, Stidham is rightfully the favorite at this point and the Patriots seem content to give him a season to prove himself. But once the 2020 NFL Draft comes and goes, the picture at quarterback will be a bit clearer.