Curran: Clarifying Jonathan Kraft's role in Patriots' decision-making

Curran: Clarifying Jonathan Kraft's role in Patriots' decision-making originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

Are there too many cooks in the New England Patriots' kitchen?

Some Patriots fans may have that concern after The Athletic's Dianna Russini reported Monday that team president Jonathan Kraft, the son of owner Robert Kraft, is "heavily involved" in New England's decision-making as the 2024 NFL Draft approaches.

Russini noted that Patriots de facto general manager Eliot Wolf is "running point" on the draft process, but considering Wolf doesn't even have the official GM title -- he told reporters earlier this offseason he's still the director of scouting -- does this mean Jonathan Kraft will have a significant influence on New England's draft strategy and plans for the No. 3 overall pick?

Our Patriots Insider Tom E. Curran cleared the air on Kraft's involvement (or lack thereof) on a new episode of the Patriots Talk Podcast.

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"Here's what I know: As of early evening on Monday, there had not been a trade offer (for the No. 3 pick) that rose to the level of being presented to ownership," Curran said.

"Now, as to how it would be presented and whether or not Jonathan Kraft would have immediate veto power and an opinion on whether or not it was a good move football-wise -- that wouldn't happen. So, there's been no offer presented to ownership because no solid offers have materialized."

Curran reported back in January that Jonathan Kraft was not seeking football operations responsibility after the departure of head coach and de facto general manager Bill Belichick. According to Curran, that's still the case, and the dynamic between ownership and the front office remains the same following Belichick's exit.

"As with the Bill Belichick era, ownership expects to be looped in on what's going to happen," Curran said. "It's the third overall pick. It doesn't matter if it's the third overall pick, the 15th overall pick, a third rounder -- Bill Belichick was looping the Krafts in, and they're going to expect that here.

"... They want to be looped (in), but I do want to emphasize, again, that Jonathan Kraft is, as far as I can tell, as far as I have been told, not involved in football-making decisions. He's not scouting; he understands his limitations, as does his dad."

Robert and Jonathan Kraft have taken a relatively hands-off approach for more than two decades, and it's helped bring six Super Bowl titles to New England. And while Wolf obviously is no Belichick, the Krafts still appear content with letting Wolf's football operations department do its job.

How the Krafts can wield influence is by holding Wolf and other front office members accountable if they don't produce results. They parted ways with arguably the greatest coach of all time after a four-year playoff drought, and if the Patriots can't get their rebuild moving in the right direction, there could be similar consequences down the line for the front office and coaching staff.

Check out more intel from Curran and Phil Perry on the Patriots' draft plans and much more by subscribing to Patriots Talk and checking out the YouTube video below.

Also in this episode:

  • What the Patriots WILL do in the draft vs. what they SHOULD do

  • How can the Patriots make a trade for an elite WR?

  • Brian Hoyer breaks down the top QBs in the draft