Former receiver turned broadcaster Cris Collinsworth, now one half of the "Sunday Night Football" broadcast team for NBC, is much like a fan when it comes to the game of football: he loves it and he is as frustrated by the current situation as many are.
Today he posted an entry on his website, footballpros.com, in which he calls on Patriots owner Robert Kraft to take the lead and usher in a new deal between the NFL and the players.
Kraft's comment on Sunday - which has since garnered quite a bit of attention - that the two sides are getting close to the point of alienating fans, caught Collinsworth's attention and spurred him to write an entry called "Robert Kraft: We Need You!"
After quoting Kraft, Collinsworth writes:
Amen Mr. Kraft. Now is when we need rational men like Robert Kraft to step forward. Mr. Kraft was a fan long before he became an owner. He is a terrific family man who can see the same view of this process that we are all watching. Please Mr. Kraft take the lead. There are other owners who will be pushing various agendas, but as a player, I would trust Robert Kraft to make a fair deal. I really would. So far Mr. Kraft has not been willing to take the lead, probably because the Hawks always get the most attention. But Kraft is liked and respected by almost everyone in the NFL. He is tough but fair. The players would listen to him. Tom Brady could be the point man. Lawyers be gone. There is a deal to be made, and the time is now. Please Mr. Kraft, take the lead.
He makes a fair point. One of the most respected owners in the league, Kraft has long called for lawyers to be taken out of the equation, and heeding his own words and kick-starting talks between owners and Players' Association execs - sans attorneys - would make a strong statement.