While we may never fully understand what went on behind closed doors during the NFL lockout negotiations, Patriots president Jonathan Kraft recently shed some light on the situation.
Kraft, the oldest son of Patriots owner Robert Kraft, recently sat in for an interview on WEEI's The Big Show to explain his opinion from the owner's side of the table.
According to Kraft, it's the players that are to blame for the current situation, as the Patriots' president reiterated that it was the players that stood up and walked away from the CBA negotiations in March.
"We were negotiating in the first part of March under the guidance of the federal mediator and from the NFL's perspective we thought we had put fair things on the table and we're having rational dialogue," Kraft said. "The players, I know there is a lot of rhetoric that flies around about this, the players were the ones who got up from that table, walked out of the room, decertified, and filed an anti-trust lawsuit. That's the timeline and those are the facts."
Kraft insisted that negotiations were moving in the right direction before the union decertified, and said the only way the NFL is going to get back to "true operations of the National Football League" is to get back to the negotiating table, rather than continue in court.
"Because at the end of the deal, it's not going to get worked out through litigation and through a court system," Kraft said. "It's going to get worked out when two business parties sit across the table from each other. We didn't start the legal proceedings. The players did and hopefully we can convince them that litigation isn't the right path and that negotiation is. Unfortunately so far we haven't been able to do that."
Despite the current league situation, Kraft remains optimistic that there will be football in Week 1 of the 2011 season.
"I'm a glass is half full kind of guy. Well look, here's the bottom line: we had the draft last night. I think it was pretty exciting," he said. "Look, until the end of July when training camp is open, yes OTA's and mini-camps might not be taking place like they normally have, but I think I believe we will have a season and a full season."