Kevin Faulk sent a message Friday night at the 2016 NFL Draft by wearing a Tom Brady jersey to the podium and name-dropping the Patriots quarterback when he announced New England’s first pick of the third round.
Faulk was asked over the weekend about his decision to stand by Brady, whose four-game suspension related to Deflategate was reinstated last week by the U.S. Court of Appeals, and the former Patriots running back explained that it was about loyalty.
“It was just about showing the love and respect for a teammate, a friend, a brother who I’ve known for a long time,” Faulk told Mike Giardi and Christopher Price on WEEI’s “NFL Sunday.”
Faulk spent 13 seasons with the Patriots from 1999 to 2011. He was teammates with Brady for all but one — Brady was drafted in 2000 — and established himself as a respected member of the organization. The draft-night move wasn’t a publicity stunt or anything like that, according to Faulk, but it sure turned heads, especially on social media.
“I think Dale Arnold had a radio show or something, he was talking about it earlier in the day,” Faulk told WEEI while explaining his decision-making process. “And someone gave me a call and was like, ‘Hey, can you do this?’ And I’m like, ‘I’m not sure. I don’t have a Tom Brady jersey.’ And he was like, ‘Well you know what? We think we can make it happen for you.’ And he got the jersey to me and it went from there.
“The only thing was, I was nervous about how far they’d let me get before somebody would say something about it. But it really wasn’t anything.”
Faulk told the Boston Herald on Saturday that he sat in the green room with the Brady jersey in a bag until it was time for him to hit the podium, at which point he tossed the threads over his dress shirt. According to Faulk, one of the ladies escorting him out to make the announcement even gave it her stamp of approval. From there, it was on like Donkey Kong.
“We’re still a family, it’s still important to support each other,” Faulk told the Herald. “We played so many years together. We spent more time together than we spent with our families. So, it’s just one of those things.
“It’s not just about (Brady) getting screwed (in Deflategate), it’s the whole situation, how it’s dragged along, and what it means,” Faulk, one of three finalists for this year’s Patriots Hall of Fame class, added. “What does it mean? There’s a lot of unanswered questions that you’re making a decision about.”
Faulk even said he received a text message from Brady, who thanked him for the symbolic gesture.