Patriots

Robert Kraft addresses role in facilitating Jay-Z, NFL partnership

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USA TODAY Sports

Robert Kraft addresses role in facilitating Jay-Z, NFL partnership

Robert Kraft did, in fact, play matchmaker to help Jay-Z partner with the NFL.

Jay-Z's entertainment company, Roc Nation, recently brokered a deal with the NFL to lead the league's music and entertainment efforts as it enters its 100th season. In an interview Wednesday on WEEI's "The Greg Hill Show," Kraft confirmed he helped get the ball rolling on that deal by setting Jay-Z up with the NFL.

"We're involved with the NFL, and Jay-Z is a good friend and we've been doing some stuff in some charitable areas," the New England Patriots owner said. "We were happy to introduce each side and try to help them work together."

Kraft developed a relationship with Jay-Z while both were working to free rapper Meek Mill from prison. Both Kraft and Jay-Z played a role in launching the Criminal Justice Reform Organization earlier this year, and according to Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio, Kraft took NFL commissioner Roger Goodell out to Los Angeles in January for an initial meeting with Jay-Z that eventually led to this partnership.

Jay-Z has taken criticism for partnering with the NFL, as players like Eric Reid and Kenny Stills believe the rap mogul is selling out the protest movement initiated by Colin Kaepernick by siding with the organization that continues to blackball the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback.

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Aaron Rodgers has great response to critics of Patriots QB Tom Brady

Aaron Rodgers has great response to critics of Patriots QB Tom Brady

Some of the criticism thrown at New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is just silly.

The most famous hot take on Brady's alleged decline came in the summer of 2016 when Max Kellerman said on ESPN's "First Take" that Brady would soon "fall off a cliff." Well, in the three years since Kellerman's bold remark, Brady has won two more Super Bowl titles (in three appearances) and an MVP award. 

Sometimes, you just have to laugh at these critics.

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers admitted to doing that during his appearance Tuesday on ESPN Radio's "The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz." Here's the exchange:

Question: Do you look at Brady the way we all do? Like, what the hell? He's 42, what the hell, Aaron.

Rodgers: "I do. I think I laugh with him a little bit when they replay some of the remarks, especially after that Chiefs game I think a lot of us remember from (2014) when the Chiefs kind of blew them out on a Sunday or Monday night and everyone was (saying), 'This is it. Brady's done. The Pats are done.' You look at what they've done since then. That's the beauty at times in this sport and playing, for him, at obviously such a high level. Sometimes you're looking around and you're like, 'Man, maybe I need some inspiration this week,' and having something like that to go back to whenever you want. People are just waiting for him to like regress, and it's like, it's not happening. Not happening. But the first time he has a game he doesn't throw three (touchdowns), it's gonna be like, 'Here it is. Here's the beginning.' And sure enough, there's a little more ammo for him to be like, 'What you say? Oh yeah? OK, cool. I'm going back to the Super Bowl.'" 

Rodgers has faced his own share of criticism over the last few years as the Packers have struggled to find playoff success, so he has a bit of an understanding of what Brady has dealt with over the last decade or so.

Brady and Rodgers went head-to-head last season for just the second time, and the Patriots prevailed in a 31-17 win at Gillette Stadium. It's possible that meeting was the last one before Brady retires, unless of course they square off in the Super Bowl.

And, judging by the way the Patriots and Packers have played through two games this season, a Brady-Rodgers showdown in Super Bowl LIV certainly is a possibility.

Only one player ahead of Tom Brady in latest MVP betting odds>>>

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Tom Brady trails only one player in latest 2019 NFL MVP betting odds

Tom Brady trails only one player in latest 2019 NFL MVP betting odds

The New England Patriots offense looks like a juggernaut through the first two weeks of the 2019 season, but there's still one player with better odds than Tom Brady to win NFL MVP.

The Patriots quarterback has thrown for 605 yards with five touchdowns and zero interceptions over two games. He's also completing 68.8 percent of his passes and has a near-perfect passer rating against blitzes.

These stats are impressive, but he still trails Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes in several stat categories. Mahomes also happens to be the clear early favorite among oddsmakers to win the league's MVP award.

Here are the latest MVP odds from Caesars Palace:

Mahomes leads the NFL with 821 passing yards, and his eight touchdowns are tied for the league lead. The Chiefs, like the Patriots, are 2-0 after a pair of dominant performances.

The Chiefs quarterback won the Associated Press NFL MVP last season, and we haven't see a repeat winner of this award since Peyton Manning in 2008 and 2009. Brady last won in 2017 and has three AP MVPs on his resumé.

Both Brady and Mahomes will be top MVP candidates throughout the season, and the outcome of the Week 14 showdown between the Patriots and Chiefs at Gillette Stadium in December could play a meaningful role in the final voting. 

Latest Patriots vs. Jets Week 3 spread is laughably big>>>

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