By Tom E. Curran
NEW ORLEANS - Good for Matt Light, speaking his mind last weekand expressingdisappointment that Patriots owner Robert Kraft wasn't at the table for the final round of negotiations before the lockout. Now, whether Light's candor is good for his future employment in New England is another story altogether. A free exchange of thought and opinion is not always welcomed in Foxboro, especially when it doesn't mesh with what ownership says, does or believes. Light, a free agent coming off shoulder surgery, wants to return to the Patriots. Can and will his words be used against him when it comes time to decide whetherhe stays? It's not beyond the pale. Light made some pointed comments talking to media at Marco Island, Floridawhere the players association was meeting. No doubt, 100 percent. Im not going to lie to you, Light said when asked if he was disappointed Kraft went to Israel on a trade mission with Governor Deval Patrick.Light lamented that the people who'd ultimately be giving the thumbs-up of thumbs-down on the deal were not in the room. "We had people in that room that could get a deal done at any point," said Light. "They the league negotiators didnt seem to have the ability to do any of that when they had to the leave the room, make a phone call (to debrief owners who weren't in attendance). If it was me, I was in that model, I would have every one of my guys in those seats making sure that we had one voice and we could get a deal done."Ownershiptries to paint the players as the ones who wanted to decertify all along. Weak attendance by owners argues against that. So too does the fact that - on the last day before the lockout - commissioner Roger Goodell reportedly was given more latitude to make a deal. That tidbit made eyebrows rise among the players because, well, didn't he have that latitude before? It felt to the players like a bag job. One other sidelight: owners allege the fact that players decertified at 4 p.m. the day the CBA was expiring was proof they never wanted to do a deal. But had they not decertified and no extension to negotiations was granted, the owners would have locked them out at midnight. And the players would have forfeited their right to decertify for six months. We'll try to get Jonathan Kraft's thoughts on Light's comments down here in New Orleans.