Patriots owner Robert Kraft said just as much at the owners’ meetings in Orlando, Fla., on Monday when asked about the reported organizational tension, exposed in a January ESPN report that detailed a rift among the Patriots’ Big Three.
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Kraft, Belichick and Brady have repeatedly had to address ESPN’s account, which surmised growing tension could lead to the trio’s imminent breakup. Each of the three has denied the explosiveness of the report. Together, they’ve won five Super Bowls over 16 seasons.
Although Kraft said he still hasn’t gotten over the deflating loss to the Eagles, the 76-year-old downplayed the effects of a loss in the title game when compared to a losing season. In his first season of owning the Patriots in 1993, the team went 5-11 under then-coach Bill Parcells, who also was in his first season in New England.
I’ve owned the team 24 seasons, and I’ve had Bill [Belichick] as a head coach for 18 of Jason Smith Jersey those seasons, Kraft said. When I think of tension, I think of my first year as an owner. I love Bill Parcells, but players walked on eggshells and maybe ownership did as we went down the learning curve of how to get along. 鈥?The so-called tension gets greater when you lose.
If the Giants take a quarterback with the second overall pick, it could lead to some bruised feelings, with Eli Manning returning at 37 years old for his 15th season with the Giants and his replacement lurking on the roster. In this day and age in the NFL, a quarterback picked No. 2 in the draft is expected to play far sooner than later.
I think a lot of times that’s unavoidable in this sport, Mara said of hurting the feelings of the incumbent quarterback. You have to make decisions that are in the long-term best interests of the franchise. If feelings get hurt, you try not to do that, but if they do, they do.
Mara said it is too early in the evaluation process to know whom the Giants are targeting and, ultimately, whom they will take the night of April 26.
You want to know who we’re going to pick? We don’t, Mara said. You can give me eight different scenarios and I can tell you that it’s a possibility.
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Believe me when I tell you, I don’t know if we’re taking a quarterback.