New York Jets: The Double Standard of the Patriots Tampering Claim


Jan 10, 2015; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft claps on the field prior to the Patriots

The New England Patriots, owned by Robert Kraft and coached by Bill Belichick, have been the NFL’s darling franchise since Mo Lewis ushered in the Tom Brady era and the Tuck Rule vaulted them to the Super Bowl. Since 2001, the Patriots have won 160 regular season games, have appeared in five Super Bowls and will appear in their sixth this year.

However, the men that run the Patriots have been anything but virtuous during this run. Bob Kraft, then 69 years old and a widower, made this audition tape with his 32-year-old aspiring actress girlfriend where he drops some expletives and generally makes a jackass of himself. If Woody Johnson ever did anything remotely like this we would never, ever hear the end of it.

This is also a man who, despite having a medical and security staff that would make most local law enforcement agencies jealous, still drafted and gave a contract extension to an alleged sociopath and possible mass murderer in Aaron Hernandez. Hernandez stands accused of murdering three men in two states.  He allegedly killed two men in Florida in June of 2012, then played the entire 2012 season, then allegedly killed another man in June of 2013. Here is a quote from Kraft from when he gave Hernandez a contract extension, which was two months after Hernandez allegedly killed two people who spilled a drink on him:

“One of the touching moments since I’ve known the team — knowing that this is our charitable gala tonight — Aaron came into my office, a little teary-eyed and presented me with a check for $50,000 to go to Myra Kraft Giving Back Fund,” Kraft said. “I said ‘Aaron, you don’t have to do this, you’ve already got your contract.’ And he said ‘No, it makes me feel good and I want to do it.’ ” (ESPN Boston “Patriots Lock In Aaron Hernandez” 8/28/12)

But who could see that coming you say? Well, in addition to the multitude of private investigators that investigated Hernandez’s checkered past before drafting him (he was a gang member who had more red flags than a Russian army parade coming out of Florida), they had psychological work-ups as part of both the draft process and yearly physicals so at best, the Patriots were taking a “calculated risk” hoping that a ticking time bomb wouldn’t blow up on their watch.

Then Kraft and company throw their hands up and say how “shocked” they are at Hernandez’s actions when they shouldn’t be. It was unlikely that Hernandez would murder people but not unlikely that he would have an off-field criminal issue.

Jan 18, 2015; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick during the first quarter against the Indianapolis Colts in the AFC Championship Game at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Stew Milne-USA TODAY Sports

Bob Kraft also hired Bill Belichick away from the Jets after Belichick’s famous 1-day reign as Jets head coach where he resigned by a note written on a napkin. No way Kraft could have tampered with Belichick, right?

More from Jets News

Speaking of the “great” Bill Belichick, here is an excerpt of an article from Jeff Jacobs of the Hartford Courant on January 5th of 2000 entitled “Same Old Jets: Chaos and Confusion” where Jacobs questions how abrupt and odd Belichick’s departure from the Jets was:

Special enough to give Belichick a $1 million bonus last year on top of a whopping 750 grand salary as defensive coordinator just to be patient. When the Raiders and Bears came looking, Hess made it clear Belichick was their coach- in-waiting. Sure, Parcells can waver from week to week. Belichick wasn’t out of line in pointing that out. But at the end of last season, Parcells told Hess and Gutman he figured this was his last year. Only hours after the season finale, Parcells resigned, contractually promoting Belichick to head coach. How quick is that?

Belichick kept that million dollar bonus that Hess gave him and took that blood money with him to New England. That was far from Belichick last display of questionable ethics. There was, of course, 2007’s Spygate where he had his staff tape the Jets defensive signals, got turned in by ex-Patriot then Jest head coach Eric Mangini, then admitted to the Commissioner that he had been doing it since he was hired by the Patriots. The Patriots may have had a ton of regular season success since Belichick was caught but they have not won a Super Bowl since 2004.

Belichick cut Tiquan Underwood hours before the Super Bowl in 2012, he cut Kyle Love in 2013 because he had type-2 Diabetes (see PFT article basically accusing the Patriots of disability discrimination), and he cut Don Jones on Thanksgiving this year.

This pattern of questionable ethics and decision-making by the men who run the Patriots makes the fact that they filed tampering charges against the Jets, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, for Woody Johnson saying he would “welcome Darrelle Revis back to the Jets” hypocritical but definitely not surprising considering the character of Kraft and Belichick.

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