Patriots Owner Robert Kraft Heated With Tom Brady: Report

Getty Robert Kraft

Tom Brady announced his retirement from the NFL as a player earlier this week. Aside from the gravity of the announcement itself, there was quite a bit of attention paid to the omission of any reference to Brady’s career with the New England Patriots.

While Patriots owner Robert Kraft and head coach Bill Belichick have since posting tributes to Brady, with the future Hall-of-Famer returning the favor in responses to those posts, it is tough to imagine the initial lack of mentions not getting the attention of important people up in Foxborough.

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Former Patriot Says Robert Kraft Had a Temper-Tantrum

One former Patriots player and now in-studio analyst at NBC Sports, Ted Johnson has said the team’s owner was visibly upset at Brady’s shun of the organization.

Johnson has been known to deliver some over-the-top takes like last year when he suggested rookie quarterback Mac Jones “shut up” after trying to show some sideline leadership. 

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Was Johnson exaggerating Kraft’s reaction? It is possible, but barring some sort of as-yet-announced agreement, Brady ignoring Belichick, Kraft and even Josh McDaniels was eye-opening. Brady’s situation with the Patriots has no one-to-one comparison, but the closest ones are probably Brett Favre’s exit from the Green Bay Packers, Peyton Manning’s departure from the Indianapolis Colts and Joe Montana moving on from the San Francisco 49ers. 

Favre was extremely bitter toward the Packers when he left. Manning said a tearful goodbye before he signed with the Denver Broncos and went on to win a Super Bowl with his second team like Brady, and Montana had some issues with the Niners when he left for the Kansas City Chiefs, though San Francisco tried to retain him before the legendary quarterback decided to honor a commitment to KC.

None of those situations are exactly like Brady’s, but whenever there has been such a long relationship with a quarterback who isn’t exactly ready to move on without a nudge or a feeling of being unwanted, there will be some level of discord.

Some Dispute Johnson’s Account of Kraft’s Reaction

Another person with knowledge and sources close to the organization begs to differ with Johnson’s breakdown of Kraft’s reaction to being left out of Brady’s retirement post.

Greg Hill of WEEI’s The Greg Hill Show took said this on a recent episode of his daily show.

“I like Ted Johnson,” Hill assured. “Ted Johnson used to be a frequent guest on the old show. But suggesting that Robert Kraft had a temper tantrum yesterday would fly in the face of any information that I perhaps had shared with me yesterday,” Hill said.

 Clearly, Hill was given different intel as it pertains to Kraft’s reaction.

“So you don’t believe him?,” co-host Jermaine Wiggins asks Hill.

“I do not. No I don’t. I don’t believe him,” Hill said. “I have to be careful what I say, but I was told that those in the organization at the highest levels thought that it was odd — I’ll paraphrase — thought it was odd that Tom Brady did not mention the Patriots or Robert Kraft or Bill Belichick or the fans, but that the relationship remains good between Tom Brady and the Krafts. So I heard nothing of the sort about a temper tantrum.”

Unless we were present when Kraft and/or Belichick got the news about Brady’s retirement, we can’t be certain of their reaction. That said, Hill’s account sounds more feasible. While Kraft has said Brady is like a son to him, it seems far-fetched the 80-year-old would have a “temper-tantrum,” over something so petty.

I wouldn’t expect any of this to hinder what figures to be a huge celebration of Brady at some point during the 2022 season.

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