Tag:Robert Kraft
Posted on: October 26, 2011 7:13 pm
Edited on: October 26, 2011 7:16 pm
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Rob Gronkowski apologizes for pics with porn star

 Shocker: 20-something guy likes hot blond. (US PRESSWIRE)
Posted by Ryan Wilson

Patriots quarterback Tom Brady spent his bye week in the Bahamas with his family. Teammate Rob Gronkowski, who is single, had no such obligations. Which is good since he hung out with adult film star BiBi Jones during his time off. We know this because a jersey-clad Jones tweeted pictures of a shirtless Gronkowski. (Here's another one, with Gronkowski wearing a t-shirt.)

Seems harmless enough, since they're both adults, nobody broke any laws and, you know, they're both adults.

During his weekly radio appearance on WEEI, Brady was asked if he'd seen the Gronkowski photo in question.

"No, but I've heard. He never ceases to amaze me," Brady said. "I would have guessed there would be pictures of him somehow with his shirt off, posing or something like that. I'm just glad, I'm no longer the one that people are making fun of on my team on a daily basis."

That's a great response because the internet has long taken great pleasure in mocking Brady for any number of reasons.

Brady also figured that Gronkowski would end up hearing from head coach Bill Belichick. "He's used to that walk into coach's office now. He probably knows it's coming. ... He has more fun than anybody I'll tell you that. He doesn't miss a fun day."

On Wednesday, the media asked Gronkowski about his bye-week escapades, and after consulting with the Patriots PR person, he … apologized. Seriously (via WEEI.com).

“I didn’t intend anything or to hurt the reputation of anyone on the New England Patriots, on behalf of Robert Kraft,” said Gronkowski, who acknowledged he met with the Patriots owner and apologized for any bad publicity that resulted from Twitter photos. “That’s all. It was just a simple picture and that’s all, and from here on out, I’m just here to talk about the Pittsburgh Steelers and the big game this weekend.”

Gronkowski added that he regrets the photos going public.

“Just not intended to hurt anyone or ruin the reputation of the New England Patriots in any way,” he said. “It’s a great organization here and a great football program. I can’t wait to get out to practice and get focused on the Pittsburgh Steelers because that’s all I’m worried about and all I care about.”

So what's Gronkowski apologizing for again? Having his shirt off? Who was embarrassed by this? (We were more upset by those topless pictures of Andre Smith at his pro day a few years ago.) Is he the only person in the Pats organization who has heard of the deep, dark underworld of pornography?

It seems a bit much, frankly. Brady's right -- if anything, it's goofy. And if Belichick wants to talk to his tight end about causing distractions, that's fine. But there's nothing to be sorry about. Jones said the two didn't even have sex.

“Nothing happened," she said during an appearance on 98.5 The Sports Hub in Boston. "I wish something had, but nothing happened. … I asked if I could have some pictures with him and he said, ‘Yeah, wait, put on my jersey.’ I said, ‘OK.’ We were taking pictures. I asked him if I could put it on Twitter because some athletes wouldn’t want that since I do do adult films and they don’t want to be associated with that. He was really cool with it because I have more Twitter followers than him.”

If Gronkowski is guilty of anything it's trying to increase his Twitter profile. And we're pretty sure he did that.

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Posted on: August 25, 2011 3:47 pm
 

Hot Routes 8.24.11: Vince Young vs. Mike Kafka



Posted by Josh Katzowitz

  • A couple days late on this story, but I really enjoyed this column by Yahoo Sports’ Michael Silver on Patriots ownere Robert Kraft and how he’s dealing with his wife’s death. Great stuff in here. One poignant quote from Kraft on CBA negotiations while his wife was dying: “There were plenty of moments where I thought, ‘Why am I here?’” Kraft says. “I’m thinking of my sweetheart, and I wanted to be with her every minute. Really, the only time I wasn’t with her was at these meetings, and when we’d get off in minutiae or [talking about] things I thought were irrelevant -- they might not have been, but to me they were -- I was thinking, ‘What am I doing here?’ Maybe I shouldn’t say that, but I was.”
  • And we’ll go ahead and hit you with another Silver story. This one is on the league’s discipline policy for those who got in trouble during the lockout.
  • Another player has gone down with a torn Achilles tendon injury and will miss the season. This time it’s Chiefs linebacker Brandon Siler, who hurt himself on the last play of Tuesday’s practice. He’s the 11th player to be lost for the season with this kind of injury.
  • The Chiefs have signed TE Anthony Becht to a one-year deal. The 34-year-old was out of the league last season.

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Posted on: August 10, 2011 5:39 pm
 

Report: Mankins signs long-term deal with Pats

MankinsPosted by Josh Katzowitz

Last season, Patriots G Logan Mankins was one of the unhappiest men in the Patriots organization (probably even more unhappy than Bill Belichick whenever he has to meet with the media). Mankins believed he deserved a long-term contract extension, and he believed that New England owner Robert Kraft had intimated that he’d get one.

Just not last year, which angered Mankins so much that he refused to sign his tender of $3.26 million and then blasted the organization. He returned to the team midway through the season and played well in the second half of the year.

All of that acrimony, though, is over, as ESPN reports that Mankins and the Patriots have agreed to a six-year contract extension.

The first good sign that this year would not be a repeat of last season occurred when Mankins signed his $10.73 million tender and dropped his request for a $10 million settlement after serving as a plaintiff in the Brady v NFL case.

The new six-year deal, then, serves three purposes. It keeps one of the best guards in the NFL in New England through 2016. It keeps him happy. And it reduces his hit against the Patriots cap number for 2011, which would have been about $10 million.

Of course, today’s news shouldn’t be a surprise.

After all, Kraft had this to say Wednesday when meeting with the media: “If I have a vote, it will get done. But the other side has to want it, too. But it’s our desire and has always been our desire. But like I tried to explain to you, you can’t sign everyone you want, so you need to plan and I think we did our planning knowing the kind of environment we were coming into. We tried to position ourselves so we had our core veterans and we could continue to sign the people we want to sign. We very much think that Logan is among the best there is at his position. We drafted him and we want him here.”

And now he’s got him.

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Posted on: July 25, 2011 3:06 pm
Edited on: July 25, 2011 3:35 pm
 

Labor peace won by strength of resolve

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

How about this sight for those who were desperate for football to be over? NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell standing shoulder to shoulder in front of the podium outside the NFLPA headquarters on Monday.

Smith said some nice things about Goodell, and Goodell was about to say some nice things about Smith. And after Smith introduced Goodell to the assembled media, the two shook hands and smiled. It was a beautiful sight.

Four months earlier, Goodell and Smith stood near each other in Washington and gave separate pressers, and we didn’t know when we’d have football again. But all that’s forgiven now (though not necessarily forgotten). We have football -- 10 years of labor peace -- and after a summer of misery, we finally have a payoff.

“Football is back, and that’s great news,” Goodell said. “Having a 10-year agreement is extraordinary. Everybody worked hard, everybody had a passion. This agreement is going to make our game better.”

And if you’ve paid attention at all in the past few months, you know those are sweet words. But it wasn’t an easy process. We got to watch how the sausage is made, and it was not a pleasant experience.

NFL Labor

All along, we heard people talk about how the relationship between former commissioner Paul Tagliabue and the late union leader Gene Upshaw made the game strong and, for the most part, kept the labor peace while they were in charge of their respective sides. We wondered about the relationship between Smith and Goodell and whether it was strong enough to hold. We wondered if Smith was in over his head. We wondered how unified the players really were. We wondered if the NFL owners were content to blow up the game just to show the players that they were the bosses.

Goodell and Smith wouldn’t let that happen, though. Their relationship apparently is strong enough to keep the two sides from spinning away from each other into lockout infinity.

“If we don’t have a good relationship, it hurts the game and the business of football,” Smith said. “I’m proud to say our relationship has grown. Even up until the last minute, it required us to come together and get the job done. That will be our relationship going forward.
J. Saturday embraced New England owner Robet Kraft (AP).
Said Goodell: “We have trust that we’re both in there to do the best we can for football. You can’t reach a 10-year deal without that. He’s a great leader for his players. He never lost his passion. We listen to one another, which is important. We have respect for our various consituents. The players, under his leadership, have done an extraordinary job.”

But the one who was embraced the most Monday was the man who’s suffering the terrible loss of his wife, Myra, to cancer. Patriots owner Robert Kraft -- one of the most well-respected owners in the game -- was engulfed by love. Not just from his owner colleagues and his commissioner, but by the other side as well.

“We couldn’t have done it without you,” Smith told him. “We took a day off on Friday to remember a great woman and a great family. I’m thankful for what she meant to the city of Boston and especially thankful for what you mean to the game of football.”

Colts C Jeff Saturday took it a step further. After paying a nice tribute to Myra Kraft, who allowed her husband to help save football even when she was dying, Saturday stepped away from mic and embraced Kraft in a big hug.

Smith and Goodell had shook hands and smiled for the cameras. But Saturday and Kraft showed their love for each other.

It was, simply put, a touching moment on an exciting day for a man who’s lost so much in the past week. And while fans and players can be excited that they’ve got back their game -- and while Smith and Goodell provided their own beautiful moment -- Kraft’s resiliency in finishing the bargain while he was experiencing so much pain provided the true inspiration of the day.

Even during one of the most trying times of his life, he was helping to restore the game you love. And everybody should be thankful for that.

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Posted on: July 20, 2011 11:08 am
Edited on: July 20, 2011 12:12 pm
 

Bob Kraft's wife dies after battle with cancer

Posted by Will Brinson

Some sad news from the NFL world today as Robert Kraft's wife Myra died Wednesday morning at the age of 68 after a battle with cancer, the team announced.

"Words cannot express the deep sorrow that we feel in learning of the passing of Myra Hiatt Kraft," the Patriots said in a statement released by the team. "Myra passed away early this morning after a courageous battle with cancer. We are all heartbroken. The global philanthropic community and the New England Patriots family have suffered a great loss.”

Mrs. Kraft's tragic passing juxtaposes the current labor negotiations with the NFL in that it reminds us, quite clearly, how unimportant football really is in terms of the grand scheme of things.

It's also a testament to the dedication of Kraft to his organization in that he spearheaded many of these negotiation sessions despite his wife's serious illness.

"On behalf of all NFL players, I want to offer my deepest sympathies to Bob and the Kraft," NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith said in a statement. "I know how much he loves Myra. We mourn her loss and my heart goes out to a great man and his family. Myra will be missed."

Mrs. Kraft was well-known for being heavily involved in philanthropic causes, serving on the boards of the American Repertory Theatre and United Way of Massachusetts Bay, and Boys and Girls Clubs of Boston and Brandeis University.

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Posted on: July 1, 2011 1:58 am
 

NFL, NFLPA meet for more than 15 hours

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

The NFL and the NFLPA finally have emerged from their 15 1/2-hour meeting, and they will return at 9 a.m. Friday morning to continue discussions, according to reports from NFL.com’s Albert Breer. The mega-bargaining session began at 10 a.m. ET Thursday and continued until about 1:30 a.m. Friday

There’s obviously no new CBA, but after such a long day of meeting face to face, you have to wonder if that announcement is coming relatively soon -- like, say, within the next week or so.

Though late Thursday afternoon, there was plenty of pessimism emanating from a number of reports after the NFLPA held a conference call for some of its members, the fact that the two sides negotiated for another eight hours after that has got to be a positive step.

Plus, with the league moving closer to a deadline when a deal would have to be done in order to begin training camps on time, both sides seem a little more energized to get something accomplished.

According to the AP, among those involved in the talks today included: U.S. Magistrate Judge Arthur Boylan, Giants owner John Mara, Chiefs owner Clark Hunt, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, Patriots owner Robert Kraft and, for the players, Colts C Jeff Saturday, Chiefs G Brian Waters and Ravens CB Domonique Foxworth.

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Posted on: June 21, 2011 9:46 am
Edited on: June 21, 2011 10:24 am
 

Tuesday meeting to update owners on negotiations



Posted by Ryan Wilson

As planned, the NFL owners are meeting Tuesday in Chicago. Hopefully that means actual football won't be far behind. The league and the players have spent much of June working through the details of a new collective bargaining agreement, although there hasn't been a resolution.  

As for what's on the agenda in the Windy City, NFL Network's Albert Breer has the details.

"Tuesday's meeting was originally scheduled as a one-day session, but clubs were advised last week to be prepared for the proceedings to spill into Wednesday," Breer writes. "No formal votes are scheduled for the meetings, with the labor committee and [Roger] Goodell having completed three sets of clandestine negotiations with the players."

"We're giving the clubs a briefing on the status of the labor discussions," NFL general counsel Jeff Pash told NFL Network. "And we'll allow them to ask any questions, give them a legal update on the status of the various court actions, and just make sure they fully understand everything that's happened over the last month and make sure they're fully informed as we proceed through the end of this month and into July."

Mid-July had been identified as the likely timeframe for both sides to reach an agreement on a new CBA, but there have been setbacks. Last week, an ESPN report suggested some owners were resistant to a new deal because they feared it didn't address the concerns that led to the lockout in the first place -- namely, the owner's unhappiness with the 2006 CBA.

Also not helping: CBSSports.com's Mike Freeman is reporting that some owners have contacted their star players, telling them that NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith is leading them in the wrong direction. The NFL, of course, prohibits communication between teams and players during the lockout.

Sounds like a job for the commissioner, as well as Robert Kraft and John Mara, two of the most well-respected owners in the league.

The Chicago attendees include Goodell, Pash, outside counsel Bob Batterman, labor committee co-chairmen Jerry Richardson and Pat Bowlen, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, Giants owner John Mara, Bengals owner Mike Brown, Chiefs owner Clark Hunt, Steelers president Art Rooney, Chargers president Dean Spanos and Packers CEO Mark Murphy.

As PFT.com's Mike Florio notes, Kraft's not on the list but he should be.

For now, all we can do is wait.

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Posted on: June 8, 2011 3:16 pm
Edited on: June 8, 2011 3:48 pm
 

NFL, NFLPA confirm secret talks

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

In case you needed confirmation that the NFL and the NFLPA are engaged in secret meetings this week – although you SHOULDN’T since CBSSports.com’s own Mike Freeman reported it Tuesday night – the two sides have released a statement.

"NFL owners and players have engaged in further confidential discussions before Chief Magistrate Judge Boylan this week,” the statement reads.

The two sides are meeting somewhere in New York – some reports have pinpointed the meetings to Long Island – and according to NFL.com, the NFLPA is represented by DeMaurice Smith, Kevin Mawae, Jeff Saturday, Mike Vrabel, Tony Richardson and Domonique Foxworth.

Meanwhile, the NFL is represented by commissioner Roger Goodell, New York Giants owner John Mara, Kansas City’s Clark Hunt, New England’s Robert Kraft, Carolina’s Jerry Richardson and San Diego’s Dean Spanos.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com