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Volume 26 No. 85
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Sources: Patriots' Jonathan, Robert Kraft See Power Shift

Jonathan Kraft is believed to have quietly filled any void left open by his father in his older age
Photo: GETTY IMAGES
Jonathan Kraft is believed to have quietly filled any void left open by his father in his older age
Photo: GETTY IMAGES
Jonathan Kraft is believed to have quietly filled any void left open by his father in his older age
Photo: GETTY IMAGES

The "transfer of power" from Patriots Owner Robert Kraft to President Jonathan Kraft has been "long under way," according to sources cited by Michael Damiano of BOSTON MAGAZINE. The elder Kraft has "transformed into a jet-setting, Nike Air Force 1-wearing, floppy-haired playboy," and there has been a sense among those close to him that his lifestyle has "lured him away from his senses and the team." Sources said that Jonathan Kraft has "stepped in to fill the void." His "quiet, work-behind-the-scenes habits mean that Pats fans and outsiders generally see him as either a silent sentry standing by Robert's side or as his loyal and fierce enforcer taking public shots at the team's litany of sometime enemies, including the NFL, the media and league rivals." As a result, many Patriots fans have "developed a skewed picture of Jonathan and view the prospect of his future reign with equal parts suspicion and dread."

LOOKING TO THE FUTURE: No one knows when Robert Kraft "plans to step down." But one thing is "certain: When Jonathan does finally take over, he will forever change the relationship between owner and team, and owner and fans." Damiano: "Simply because he isn't Robert." One of Jonathan Kraft's "long-standing" roles has been as his father's "defender." A source said that Jonathan "helped Robert write his first significant statement" on his solicitation charges, "honing a message that was at once contrite, defiant, and designed to jump-start his father's redemption." Although Jonathan has "inspired loyalty and admiration among many close associates, he also has earned a reputation, in some circles, for being more distant and severe than his father." He also, at times, has had a "more confrontational relationship" with coach Bill Belichick. Sources said that their relationship "remains more strained." Sources also said that Belichick "doesn't have a lot of respect for Jonathan and that the coach and his key staff members would not want to work for him" (BOSTONMAGAZINE.com, 9/3).