Ever since New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft announced earlier in the week that he would not seek to appeal the punishment handed down to his organization by the league over the Deflategate scandal, there seems to be a growing sense of a sort of schism between the front office and quarterback Tom Brady—at least when it comes to taking his word on this issue.
On the day after Kraft’s announcement, former NFL general manager Mark Dominik was on the radio with Colin Cowherd talking about it, and the two discussed just the above, suggesting that, over time, Kraft began to doubt whether or not Brady had told him the truth, and that that was why he came out to say what he did.
“When you dissect everything, there are enough ‘what ifs’ on both sides to sit there and say ‘wait a second, where are we currently’”, said Dominik. He mentioned that during Kraft’s statement, there was a curious omission, as well.
“He purposely didn’t mention Tom Brady in that whole entire thing. But I think that was planned not to mention Tom Brady, that wasn’t an oversight, or he forgot to say something. I think he is on his own”.
“I get the sense that they were nervous about what’s going on”, he added, including head coach Bill Belichick. The organization, growing increasingly uncertain about their standing—and no doubt under pressure from the other owners, were starting to wonder about what they had been told.
“I think it’s kind of a way to distance themselves from everything”, he said. “Let Brady handle his business, we’re going back on the ship and getting out of this, because I don’t want to taint my legacy as an owner, because of what we’ve done here”. It’s also worth pointing out that Dominik relayed the sense among the owners that Brady will not escape his suspension.
The above conversation was later brought up on CSNNE’ Sports Night, which prompted Boston Herald writer Ron Borges report that he has “a similar understanding of the situation”, going so far as to say that “Belichick never believed the story”.
Of course, according to the Wells Report, it was days after the fact that Belichick and Brady first spoke about the issue prior to a team meeting. Belichick asked Brady about his knowledge of the rumors and of any potential tampering with the footballs, which Brady flat out denied.
Belichick proceeded to use Brady’s word as ammunition to privately shoot down the allegations in front of his gathered team during the meeting, but if Borges is to be believed, he did so with no small amount of skepticism.
Belichick, in fact, began deflecting questions Brady’s way immediately in the press, saying things to the effect that the quarterback would know better about how he likes the footballs. Not that I would expect anything of significance to emerge from this, and of course its merit is predicated upon the above being true, but it would certainly be interesting if this saga has strained relations between the higher ups and the future Hall of Famer.