Kraft voices trust issues with league office in Parcells/Belichick documentary


MINNEAPOLIS — ESPN’s “The Two Bills” 30 for 30 documentary illustrates a still-imperfect relationship between Bill Parcells and Bill Belichick. It also provides a glimpse into the beginnings of Robert Kraft’s trust issues with the league office. 


In discussing Parcell’s infamous departure from the Patriots to the Jets in 1997, Kraft says the asked the league to look into what was clear tampering by the Jets ahead of the Patriots’ Super Bowl matchup with the Packers. Though Parcells was under contract and not allowed to coach another team without Kraft’s blessing, the Pats owner said the league’s handling planted seeds of skepticism. 

“I probed the NFL office and the undercurrent was that having Parcells back in New York running the Jets was good for the NFL,” Kraft said. “It also told me that the league office was not as pure as I might have thought.”


The Jets eventually hired Belichick as head coach in title and added Parcells as what they would call an “advisor” for a year before he would officially be the head coach. Though the Patriots got draft picks in the exchange, Kraft said he was upset because he believed the league tipped the Jets off as to how to circumvent the rules. 

“I think the Jets just figured they’d be cute,” Kraft said, “and what always bothered me is I think the league office tacitly blessed it and they told them how to do it.”

“The Two Bills” debuts Thursday on ESPN. 


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