Curran: Jonathan Kraft not seeking Pats football ops responsibility originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston
Among the many insights into the end of the Bill Belichick Era that ESPN's Seth Wickersham and Wright Thompson detailed in a lengthy article last Friday, one note about Jonathan Kraft stood out.
Amid the Patriots' struggles last season, Kraft -- New England's team president and the son of team owner Robert Kraft -- would "chat with staff off to the side" along with Kraft Group senior vice president of business affairs Robyn Glaser and "(ask) why the head coach (Belichick) had made certain decisions," according to Wickersham and Thompson.
Some in the building took this to mean that Jonathan could be more involved in the Patriots' football affairs post-Belichick.
"Word leaked around the office that if Belichick were gone in 2024, football operations would be split between Glaser and Jonathan Kraft," Wickersham and Glaser wrote.
Our Tom E. Curran doesn't see that scenario playing out, however.
In a column Monday, Curran wrote it was "indicated to (him) very strongly that ownership won’t be making football decisions nor have they been," and that the Krafts have no desire to be like Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and his son Stephen Jones, who are very involved in the team's day-to-day football operations.
Curran expanded on his reporting Monday night on NBC Sports Boston's Arbella Early Edition.
"I couldn't imagine this being any further from Jonathan Kraft's dream job: running the organization in a football sense," Curran said. "He does not want to have football operations responsibility, contrary to what was seen in Seth Wickersham's piece.
"He wants to see results, but I do think -- and this is to the Krafts' advantage in a way that it wasn't for the Joneses (Jerry and Stephen) -- they found out what they don't know, and they know what they don't know, as opposed to guys like the Joneses, who took over and immediately big-footed the entire organization in terms of, 'We're gonna be involved in this stuff.'"
Curran cited an anecdote in the ESPN piece in which Belichick and close confidant Ernie Adams met with the Krafts prior to the 2000 NFL Draft, shortly after Belichick took the Patriots' coaching job. Belichick and Adams provided the Krafts such a detailed report of what the team needed that the Krafts had "no questions" and let Belichick "do what's best for the the football team" -- which he did by drafting Tom Brady in the sixth round.
"(The Krafts) found out how hard it was," Curran added. "Bill Belichick and Ernie Adams sat down with Robert Kraft and went through, chapter and verse, all the research they had done on different prospects, so that by the end of that conversation, Robert's like, 'OK, you guys do whatever you want. I get it. You guys know the stuff.'
"(The Krafts) still understand that to be the case. They're not gonna walk in and see the binder on Jayden Daniels and say, 'Yeah, I don't like that.' No freaking way."
The big difference entering this offseason, of course, is that Belichick and his wealth of football knowledge are gone, and that the Krafts will have to trust the likes of front-office executives like Matt Groh and Eliot Wolf. But to Curran's point, it's hard to imagine Robert or Jonathan Kraft diving in to get involved in personnel decisions after two decades of mostly staying out of the way.
Check out the video above to hear more insight from Curran and fellow Patriots Insider Phil Perry.