When a company that is valued over $4 billion makes one of the biggest decisions in its history, who is the person that ultimately signs off on it?
Relating to the Patriots, this is Tom Brady’s future. It’s one of the biggest calls the franchise has ever had to make, and we’re supposed to believe the CEO — Robert Kraft — is not involved at all?
According to multiple reports, Kraft will not be involved in the decision about what to do with Brady, as he gets set to become a free agent for the first time in his career. Instead, it’s said to be on Bill Belichick.
If the Patriots offer Brady a contract, it’s Belichick's decision to present it and also to decide on the terms. If the Patriots do not offer a contract, it’s also his decision.
In Corporate America, Belichick would essentially be the Patriots' COO and have a great deal of power, but whatever big moves he makes would be in consultation with the CEO. In other words, Belichick is not making any major, organization-changing decisions without consulting Kraft first.
Now, Kraft could have given Belichick his blessing to do whatever he wanted with Brady as long as it benefits the franchise, but by doing that Kraft is still involved in the decision.
Kraft is Belichick’s boss. If Kraft really wanted Brady to finish his career a Patriot, he could walk down the hall at Gillette Stadium and into Belichick’s office to order the coach to find a way to keep Brady. After all, Kraft is the one that signs Belichick’s checks. Belichick is aware everyone has a boss and if his boss said to keep Brady, he would have to keep Brady.
Would it have ripple-down effects and potentially impact relationships moving forward?
Would having Brady back if Belichick did not under any circumstances want him back and only did it because Kraft told him to be beneficial to the Patriots?
Not at all, which is likely why Kraft has given Belichick the authority to do whatever he wants.
As the owner and not having to deal with the repercussions on a day-to-day basis, it’s probably best to have the man that does (Belichick) make the call. But, let’s not pretend Kraft has nothing at all to do with it. Allowing Belichick to make the call is Kraft’s part in this.
After the fact, Kraft will need to take some ownership in what happens. He cannot sit back and say, “Don’t look at me. It was Bill’s decision.” Being CEO, he has to own whatever happens. It’s his organization, his franchise, and if he allows another person to make the decision, that is on him — he needs to own it.
In the aftermath of whatever happens, Kraft should be included in whatever the team decides to do. If statements are released, he needs to make one. If it’s a press conference, he needs to be front and center and available for questions. The same goes for if Brady returns, Kraft should have to own that aftermath as well.
While Belichick may be the one ultimately making the decision, Kraft, as CEO, is allowing him to make it.