BOSTON (CBS) — Dysfunction. Deceit. Lingering sadness.
That’s the picture ESPN painted of the Patriots in a salacious Seth Wickersham story a few months back, questioning if we were witnessing the “beginning of the end” of New England’s dynasty. It reported a rift between the franchise’s top three figureheads in Tom Brady, Bill Belichick and Robert Kraft, mostly stemming from the decision to trade Jimmy Garoppolo in October.
The Patriots, of course, contested the story and said there several inaccuracies throughout. And despite all of that dysfunction and sadness, the Patriots will be playing in their 10th Super Bowl in franchise history on Sunday, with Belichick and Brady going for their sixth title together.
Kraft and his son Jonathan, who is team president, sat down with NFL Media’s Andrea Kremer for an interview set to air on Super Bowl Sunday, and both denied any dysfunction in the organization. Kraft admitted there is tension at times, but said that tends to be good for business.
“You have tension. I think a certain amount of tension helps make great things happen,” he said.
“Dysfunction is when people take energy and use it to think about how to undermine other people. That does not happen,” Jonathan chimed in. “If it happens in this organization, I haven’t seen it.”
Kraft recently said he “absolutely” believes Brady and Belichick will both be on the Patriots next season. This time around, he wasn’t as committed to that response.
“I appreciate you asking that question, and I’m not going to respond. You’ll just have to see for yourself,” he told Kremer.
Jonathan added that the team will let their 40-year-old quarterback decide when he wants to retire, saying Brady has earned the right to make that decision himself.