Monday, July 8, 2013


Robert Kraft is a smart man. He graduated from Columbia and received his MBA from the
Harvard Business School. The Patriots owner is worth $2.3 billion and he didn't accumulate
it by being soft, sleepy, or stupid. He's not a man used to losing and will turn into a shark if
he wants something.

In 1998, he duped the city of Hartford and the state of Connecticut into thinking he would
move the Patriots there if they financed a new stadium for him. Kraft just used the nutmeg
state to get the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to pay for the infrastructure and give him
some land for the stadium he was going to build.

On Monday, Kraft spoke to the media for the first time since Aaron Hernandez was arrested
for murder and said that if the charges against the former tight end are true, then he and the
entire organization were  'duped.' Oh, I'm sure there are a lot of people in New England who
will buy this getting 'duped' thing because they love Kraft and think he's a nice guy. But it's

Kraft, Bill Belichick, and the Patriots didn't get duped, they got burned. The franchise is the
most well-run in the NFL. It rarely makes mistakes and they take pride in being the smartest
and most informed organization in the game. It's all part of the 'Patriots Way." Their scouting department is top notch and Belichick knows everything about every player he's interested
in drafting

The Patriots knew everything about Hernandez before they drafted him in the fourth round in
2010. Heck, every team in the NFL knew the former Florida Gator had enough red flags to
stop traffic at rush hour in China. The Cincinnati Bengals said they passed on Hernandez because
of his character. Are you kidding me? When the Bengals, who've had more players arrested
than any team in NFL history, by far, pass on someone because of their character, you know
their is danger ahead.

Belichick relied on Urban Myers, Hernandez' coach at Florida, for a report on the character
of the talented prospect. The Patriots head coach built a relationship with Meyer and trusted
him for his evaluations. Gaining trust with Belichick isn't something that comes easy and
Meyer earned it with the Hoodie.

So, as every team in the NFL continued to pass on Hernandez again and again and again,
the Patriots threw caution to the wind and selected Hernandez in the fourth round. They
strongly believed they were getting first-round talent in the fourth-round while other teams
somehow knew that first-round talent wasn't quite worth all the headaches.

And remember, this is the NFL where talent rules. Randy Moss had a track record a mile
long coming out of college but he was still taken in the first  round. Oh, sure 18 teams
passed on Moss and the Dallas Cowboys ignored him twice, but a lot of them regretted it
when they saw Moss become a star.

Corey Dillon had a police record in college and he only slipped to the second round. So,
scouts must've known the bad side of Hernandez was much worse than a hardened criminal
for him to fall all the way to the fourth-round, a place normally reserved for players you've
never heard of from colleges you didn't even know existed.

No, the Patriots didn't get duped. They knew what they were getting. They also knew they
hadn't won a Super Bowl since 2005 and in the Patriots world, that was way too long. So,
they rolled the dice and got burned. Not 'duped', but burned.

Nobody ever thinks a college football star with a checkered past will turn into an  NFL
player accused of murder, but we've seen it before, haven't we? Rae Carruth ring a bell?
Ray Lewis. Yeah, it's happened. Others teams treated Hernandez like nuclear waste. They
didn't want to touch him or even be near him, no matter what kind of 'value' he brought to
the team.

The Patriots didn't see nuclear waste, but rather, another powerful weapon in their cache of
explosive ones. Hernandez had the size of tight end who could run like a receiver. He would
open up the field and give Tom Brady an all-pro target to throw to. But the best laid plans
of the meticulous and calculating Patriots blew up in their faces.

Robert Kraft, you gambled and lost big. You got greedy and then got burned. Now, please
don't try to dupe your fans like Hernandez 'duped' you.

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