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What is Bob Kraft suggesting here?

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by The Gr8est, Aug 30, 2006.

  1. The Gr8est

    The Gr8est Rookie

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    http://patriots.bostonherald.com/patriots/view.bg?articleid=155110

    'Speaking at the team’s Kickoff Gala, Kraft was asked if he still felt optimistic Branch would open the season in a Patriots uniform.

    “Today’s Tuesday,†Kraft said. “We’ll know the answer to that within three days. Like all our fans, I appreciate that Deion’s very special. But we have to let things work their way out and we’ll see what happens come Friday.â€

    Kraft was then asked for clarification. Couldn’t Friday’s deadline come and go with Branch’s situation unresolved?

    “What you have to do is figure out what resolution and optimism mean to you,†Kraft said. “All of us know what we’d prefer to see happen. We’ll wait and see what happens.†'



    Does anyone else read between the lines and see this as almost a threat to Branch? If Branch doesn't change his mind, (or agent), and sign with the Pats, what sort of resolution could BK be hinting at?
  2. sarge

    sarge Rookie

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    It doesn't sound like a threat at all to me.

    But it does sound like he isn't very optimistic that it will be resolved in a way we all want to see. Which is the reason for this line

    To me it sounds like he isn't optimistic it will be a happy ending. But that it may just be an ending nonetheless.

    Not very encouraging at all!
  3. smg93

    smg93 Rookie

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    Kraft is not suggesting anything but instead, is letting everyone know that while he is a fan first who loves his players, he has hired "managers" he pays very well to make tough decisions for the good of the team. That's not an original thought, he's said that time and time again.
  4. richpats

    richpats Banned

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    What he's implying is that the Pats will not let Branch continue his holdout into the regular season, and his fate will certainly be known on FRIDAY.

    Of course this option would be a last-resort, but could the Pats possibly CUT Branch on Friday? I think they would rather do that than let his holdout cast a shadow over their season, and if he decided to come back Week 10 that would shake up the locker room (not in a good way either).

    EDIT: Before I get a bunch of "no way's" and "impossible's", 2 words for you: Lawyer Milloy.
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2006
  5. Dfresh429

    Dfresh429 Rookie

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    I read it as him saying that, if no team knocks his socks off with an offer, there has been some sort of verbal agreement between the two parties that they will either take one of the deals offered by teh Pats or really get negotiations going hard core...dont know, but that is how i read it
  6. The Gr8est

    The Gr8est Rookie

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    Cutting Branch occurred to me too, but what good does it do the Pats to cut Branch and give him what he wants? He still wouldn't get the huge raise he wants, but he'd still be getting a raise, and the Pats get nothing.

    Not a great example to set for other players unhappy with the money the Pats are paying them.

    What other sort of "final" resolution could Kraft be hinting at if he doesn't intend to let this holdout last into the season?
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2006
  7. Willie55

    Willie55 Rookie

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    No way they cut him. That would be giving into his demands. That would set a bad precedent. He would ultimarely be given what he wants: not to be franchised.

    In regards to Lawyer Milloy, he was affecting the salary cap where he had said he would rework his deal prior to the season for the good of the team and then reneged on that in late August. Plus, Milloy was an aging veteran who had lost a step.
  8. Bella*chick

    Bella*chick Addicted to the light

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    I just don't read anything positive or negative in that statement. It seems like Kraft is just trying not to say very much about the situation while discussing the situation and it's kind of a hard thing to do.

    I will say I have never in my life been so anxious for a Friday, however. Is there a time deadline? Like 1:00, or 5:00 or end of business or something? What IS end of business for a day in the NFL anyway?
  9. QuiGon

    QuiGon Banned

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    The Lawyer Milloy situation is very different from Deion Branch. With Milloy, you had a guy the Patriots were not willing to keep at his current contract. They were either going to renegotiate the contract or cut him. The problem arose when Milloy spent all summer indicating he would go along with a renegotiation, then changed to a hard line stance at the last moment (possibly due to tampering from another team). So the Pats cut him.

    With Branch, you have a guy the Patriots want to play at his current figure. They are not trying to squeeze money out of him, he's trying to squeeze money out of them.

    The Patriots won't cut Branch because that would be giving him exactly what he wants, which would be a horrible precedent.
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2006
  10. patsox23

    patsox23 Rookie

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    TOTALLY AGREE
  11. bosfan

    bosfan Rookie

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    I take him at his word, and I really don't see how you can read ANYTHING into what was said.
  12. bucky

    bucky Rookie

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    This is Kraft's attempt at Beli-speak. Nothing more.
  13. marty

    marty Rookie

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    Bingo!! Well said!
  14. old 55

    old 55 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Could the Pats invoke a "TO" or "KEYSHAWN" penalty and suspend him for not reporting to play?

    I think this is a "scorched earth" type of move and I don't think its in anyone's best interest since Branch would never play for us again and we would be in a weakened bargaining position trying to trade him.

    While I don't see this happening, it has crossed my mind that this could be the real hammer that the Pats carry since it would cost Branch a year of not playing without pay.
  15. PATSNUTme

    PATSNUTme Paranoid Homer Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    His deadline for a trade is 4PM on Friday.

    I saw Kraft and it was typical. He wanted to sound positive while saying that Bb and Scott handle that.

    If I were going to read anything into it, I would read that if no trade is done by 4PM Friday, Branch reports to practice the next day. If I just read the comment then I may read something different into it.
  16. Bella*chick

    Bella*chick Addicted to the light

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    Thanks for the deadline info, NUT!
  17. richpats

    richpats Banned

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    I'm curious to why people think that Branch's demands includes leaving the Pats immediately. If he leaves the Pats, he wants to leave the Pats on his terms, which would be one more year in Foxboro, have a monster season and then hit the FA market. This is why his agent has agreed that Branch will return IF he has a no-franchise-tag promise from NE.

    Here's how I think a cut could happen:

    1) No team offers the Pats acceptable value in a trade (likely)
    2) No team agrees to meet Branch's contract demands (likely)
    3) After 1 and 2, Branch STILL finds the Pats offer unacceptable and refuses to enter negotiations. Basically Branch will have priced himself out of signing long-term with ANY team this year. (very unlikely IMO)
    4) Assuming 3, Branch informs the Pats that he intends to holdout until Week 10 and return to the team in November to maintain FA eligibility.

    His trade situation would change after this course of events. If no team is willing to pay him his asking price, basically Branch becomes a one-year rental for $1.04 million and then hits FA. Teams would not offer much in a trade and the Pats wouldn't find any offers acceptable (like Soriano and the Nats). Plus, trading Branch would mean he definitely won't be playing in NE in '06 (more on that below). So assume he's not going to get traded.

    With the threat of a holdout lasting into the regular season, the Pats have to resolve the situation in some fashion, and if they can't trade him, they cut him. Branch becomes a FA on 9/1 and is free to sign with any team HOWEVER since no team had committed to his original asking price and teams are less likely to throw significant money at a player a week before the season starts, the Pats actually are in a favorable position to re-sign Branch AFTER he gets cut (weird I know).

    Like the trade permission is intended to estimate his market value, the value would truly be determined if he actually hit the open market. The Pats, assuming ZERO offers match their's, would be Branch's best option after all. If not, at least the Pats benefit from not having a holdout tear apart the team.

    Cutting Branch would still give the Pats some hope of signing him long-term, whereas trading him would guarantee he'll never likely play with the Pats again.

    I'll admit this all hinges on a lot of unlikely's but we did coax Seau out of retirement so anything's possible with this team.
  18. Willie55

    Willie55 Rookie

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    Or after zero offers from other teams, he realizes he isn't worth what he thinks he's worth. He fires his agent, blames it all on him, signs the Pats offer because he realizes its the best he can get and we all live happily ever after.
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2006
  19. richpats

    richpats Banned

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    Exactly- buzz is that teams aren't even serious about trading for him anyways.

    I think everyone in the world outside of Branch and his agent knows he will re-sign with the Pats.
  20. edzo44

    edzo44 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Or the team finally gets tired of all this crap after being so patient and says enough is enough! Sometimes scorched earth becomes necessary to make a point and set an example. You owe us the fines imposed and the ones you will continue to acrue, you will not be sitting at home on money you haven't earned. You'll pay us now and you'll pay us later too. You want to throw a million away, we'll take it, no hard feelings, after all it's only business right? End of story, end of problem. You're just too stupid to be on this team where we value intelligence so highly.

    Okay Scott, who's the best available WR after cutdown day?? :mad:
  21. hwc

    hwc Rookie

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    As others have mentioned, that was a totally different situation.

    The Pats did not have the cap room to keep Milloy at his scheduled compensation. They needed the renegotiation to get under the cap. Keeping Milloy would have meant drastic cuts elsewhere on the roster.

    That is hardly the case with Branch. His cap number is peanuts. The Pats are way under the cap. There's no incentive whatsover to release him.
  22. richpats

    richpats Banned

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    Different situation, yes, but nothing the Pats do surprises me anymore. If somehow they see it in their best interest to cut him, they will.

    As I mentioned, an incentive to cut him would be to prevent a holdout (and his eventual week 10 return) from tearing the team apart.
  23. ilduce06410

    ilduce06410 Rookie

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    kraft talks like a ceo

    as i recall, BB/SP could place him on a type of "retired" liist, which would prohibit him from playing for anyone else but patriots for the entire 2006 season.
    i heard it mentioned when terrell owens was acting the fool with the iggles.
    it's a drastic move tho, kind of a bridge-burner, intended to screw the player. if Bb/SP did that, it would show them as mean and vindictive.
    we'll see.
    like you, i really want to see the twig in a patriots jersey this year. can't really see how it could happen now.
  24. DCPatriot

    DCPatriot Rookie

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    To continue the speculation, Friday may also be the day on which the Pats start fining Deion to the maximum extent permitted under the term sheet for the new CBA. To date, we have no idea what their plans are in this regard. It would certainly turn up the heat -- and move this to the next stage, which no one wants, including (I hope) Deion.
  25. QuiGon

    QuiGon Banned

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    I don't see this team being "torn apart" right now, do you..? Were they "torn apart" when Terri Glenn did her little shenanigans in 2001...? No. They were professionals that focused on winning games and let that other stuff take care of itself.

    You people underestimate the coaching staff and the players if you think this issue is going to "tear them apart".
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2006
  26. kurtinelson

    kurtinelson Rookie

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    I disagree. I think plenty of teams would pony up a higher contract offer than the Patriots.
  27. Lloyd_Christmas

    Lloyd_Christmas I can delete my own crap! PatsFans.com Supporter

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    The Milloy thing was totally different.

    The pats HAD to redo his contract because he was coming up on a roster bonus that we couldn't afford to pay under the CAP. Negotiations to redo the contract were going well leading up to the deadline when ALL OF A SUDDEN, Milloy starts playing hardball.

    Some other team had gotten his ear and secretly worked out a BETTER deal with him. All he had to do was play hardball with the Pats and force them to cut him since they could not pay him the bonus and stay under the cap.

    We will not cut Branch... we may trade him for adequate compensation, but we will not let him go this year for nothing. BB would sooner put him on the reserve/did not report list or whatever the crap it is and make him ride the pine while accumulating fines than to get nothing for him.
  28. Lloyd_Christmas

    Lloyd_Christmas I can delete my own crap! PatsFans.com Supporter

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    They didn't cut Terry Glenn under worse conditions. They benched his sorry A S S ... they didn't cut him so he could go sign a huge contract with another team. They ended up getting compensation from GB in a trade the following year.

    THE PATS WILL NOT CUT BRANCH THIS YEAR. PERIOD.
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2006
  29. Mainefan

    Mainefan Rookie

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    Just to add my two cents...I read this as Branch and the Patriots having a verbal agreement that goes this way--"If I can't get the money I want, I'll sign for what you've offered," and "If you sign for what we've offered by Sept. 2, we won't fine you."

    I think the chances are in the high 80s% that Branch will be back and practicing by Monday and that the chances are 100% that everyone will be relieved, even Branch.
  30. italian pat patriot

    italian pat patriot Rookie

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    difficult probably impossible to understand and - or to read between the lines. surely it does not sound very good. let's see friday...
    personally i start to be a little be 'tired' about this story...
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2006

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