Patriots owner Robert Kraft is one of the 10 NFL owners who serves on the league’s Labor Committee, and while his nine colleagues in the group were in Washington D.C. last week for mediated talks, Kraft was on a trade mission to Israel and the United Kingdom with Gov. Deval Patrick and other business leaders.
Fans and players alike have wondered why Kraft opted to go on the trip – which conflicted with the expiration of the collective bargaining agreement – rather than scrap it and head to Washington for the talks.
Matt Light serves as the Patriots’ lead player rep, and today he quickly expressed disappointment when asked about Kraft’s absence from the talks.
“No doubt, 100 percent. I’m not going to lie to you,” Light said. “Look, again, like (former Pats LB Mike) Vrabel stated, like everyone else has said, we had people in that room that could get a deal done at any point. Do I know how they’re structured within the league? No, I have no clue.
“But I can tell you one thing: they [league negotiators] didn’t seem to have the ability to do any of that when they had to the leave the room, make a phone call, you guys representing the league. If it was me, I was in that model, I would have every one of my guys in those seats making sure that we had one voice and we could get a deal done.”
Kraft did receive frequent updates on what was happening in D.C. while he was gone, and would have left the trade mission to join talks if he was summoned by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.