Robert Kraft Could Be Pulling a Jerry Jones With the Patriots

Based on the latest NFL Draft reports surrounding the New England Patriots, it looks like owner Robert Kraft is on his way to becoming the next Jerry Jones.
Is Robert Kraft on his way to becoming the next Jerry Jones?
Is Robert Kraft on his way to becoming the next Jerry Jones? / Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

While the last two decades were filled with great memories, New England Patriots fans are ready to see what the franchise's next era has in store. Bill Belichick is firmly in the rearview and it's safe to say that the next era of football in Foxboro is going to look a lot different with head coach Jared Mayo and director of scouting Eliot Wolf — the unofficial general manager — leading the charge.

Or maybe it won't look that different after all if The Athletic's Dianna Russini's latest report regarding the No. 3 pick at the 2024 NFL Draft is to be believed.

Patriots Rumors: Jonathan Kraft "Heavily Involved" in No. 3 Pick

Even though Wolf will allegedly be "running point" regarding what the Patriots do with the third-overall selection, Russini reports that "president Jonathan Kraft is heavily involved in the decision making."

On one hand, I understand why the Kraft family would want to have some say in what happens later this week. The No. 3 selection is the franchise's most valuable draft pick in a long time and ownership wants to ensure that the right decision is made, whether that means taking a high-potential player or trading back for a massive haul.

On the other hand, it's going to be interesting to see how involved the younger Kraft is with the draft day process. After all, any sort of heavy involvement would contradict his father's words from earlier this offseason when he said that ownership would stay out of management's way.

"[The Patriots] try to hire the best people we can find and let them do their job and hold them accountable."

Owner Robert Kraft

Jonathan has been with the Patriots for 30 years now, occupying roles as the vice president and vice chairman before being promoted to president in 2005. It'd be bizarre if Robert let his son suddenly become more involved in the football-making decisions just because Belichick is no longer around.

Partriots: Robert Kraft Must Avoid Becoming Jerry Jones

While I'm sure that the father-son duo enjoy working together, they can't let themselves become the Dallas Cowboys of the AFC.

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has been meddling with his team's football decisions for several decades and it rarely pays off. Not only does Jones handle the de facto GM duties, but he even has his son, Stephen, hired as the executive vice president, CEO, and director of player personnel.

Throw in the fact that Jerry Jr. and daughter Charlotte also work for the team as they near a 30-year Super Bowl drought and it's easy to see how a family-first approach in the NFL may not work.

I understand that Belichick's controlling ways left a sour taste in the Kraft family's mouth, but this is a new era. If Mayo and Wolf are going to perform to their potential, they must be given free rein. It's fine if Kraft & Co. want to give input now and then, but they need to realize there's a reason why they entrusted the duo to lead a new era in the first place. Adding too much of Jonathan or Robert to the mix would be a massive step backward.

Robert Kraft did a good job at staying out of Belichick's way, so let's hope that stays the same for Mayo and Wolf going forward. The promising Patriots pair has a tremendous opportunity to begin the franchise's climb back to the top of the NFL and anything that could jeopardize that must be avoided.

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