Robert Kraft: Tom Brady is 'definitely the greatest player of all time – not just quarterback'


Many have declared Tom Brady the greatest quarterback of all time, but Robert Kraft is going a step further. 

The Patriots owner sees Brady as the greatest player of all time.

"Definitely the greatest player of all time -- not just quarterback in my opinion," Kraft said in an interview with ESPN. "Because he's such a leader in the locker room. For someone double the age of some of the players to be able to lead like that, and connect like that, and have the work ethic that he has, and at the same time so pleasant to be around -- I'm really the luckiest guy in the world."

Kraft still remembers when Brady came to the Patriots as a sixth-round draft pick in 2000.

"I think of him as that skinny young man coming down the steps of the old stadium with the pizza box and introducing himself to me," he said. "I said, 'I know who you are, you're Tom Brady from Michigan, our sixth-round draft choice. And he said, 'And I'm the best decision this organization has ever made.' Of course, he was fourth on the depth chart. But I think he sure was right. But the greatest thing about him is he's the same guy he was then. He's a genuine person. He's kind. He's polite to everyone. He's a very caring person.

"At the same time no one works harder or watches more film. What a great example for young kids who come into the locker room; they were 5 or 6 years old watching him, or in their teens. Now they come in and he sets the example. His personality is so engaging."

It wasn't just Brady Kraft praised, either. The Patriots owner had some kind words for Bill Belichick.

"He's the GOAT of coaches, just like our quarterback is the GOAT of quarterbacks. And no one can dispute it," Kraft said. "The fact that our organization has been able to perform at this level in the age of the salary cap, when everyone spends the same amount of money, I'm pretty proud that we've been able to keep him and our quarterback together for 19 years. Please, God, it will be two decades next year. In today's era of free agency and people going in different directions, that's pretty cool."

The Patriots will take on the Chiefs Sunday night in the AFC championship.