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Robert Kraft Speaks From the NFL’s Annual League Meeting

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New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft

New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft spoke to the media on Tuesday. Kraft is attending the NFL’s Annual League Meeting in Orlando. He fielded questions on a variety of topics. These included NFL free agency, finding a quarterback, “The Dynasty” series,  the team’s negative report card from the NFLPA, and more.

Jerod Mayo spoke incredibly favorably about the Kraft family when meeting the press on Monday. Mayo stated a lack of big signings in free agency was not because of an unwillingness to spend.

“Look, when there is a guy we want to get, the Krafts have already told us they’ll spend the money.” This comment came only ten seconds into the head coach’s meeting with the media. He’d been asked if there was anything he’d like to clarify before taking questions. Mayo went on to compliment ownership’s handling of rebuilding the team.

“One thing I will say is that the Kraft family and ownership have given us the ability to go out there and offer big contracts. To go out there and take a quarterback at three. To go out there and move down. So all of those things are up in the air. It’s their team. But they have entrusted myself, and Eliot (Wolf), to really kind of put this thing back together.”

Tuesday, Robert Kraft spoke for himself.

On NFL Free Agency

“There was one outstanding receiver (Calvin Ridley) that unfortunately we couldn’t close,” Kraft said. “It was not because of finance. He made clear his girlfriend wanted to be in the South, and we had a situation where the taxes were, like, almost 10 percent higher. And we offered and were willing to keep going at that premium, but he didn’t want to be in the Northeast.”

Robert Kraft added, “Part of it might be the quarterback situation as well.”

On Drafting a Quarterback No. 3 in the NFL Draft

“As a fan, I put my fan hat on and I definitely would,” Kraft said. “In the end, you can’t win in this league consistently unless you have a first-rate quarterback and a first-rate coach.”

Kraft preferring that from a fan’s perspective did not mean that is the direction the New England Patriots would go.

“We’re gonna be open to whatever can come our way,” Kraft said. “In the end, I’ll let the team make the decision what they think is best. One way or another, I’d like to see us get a top-rate, young quarterback.”

On Eliot Wolf Having Final Say in Personnel Decisions

“The major decisions in life that I’ve made, I’ve gone with my instincts,” Kraft responded, echoing a statement he shared at Jerod Mayo’s introductory press conference. “Sometimes people don’t agree, but I think Eliot (Wolf) has good training, good pedigree. We actually have a good group of young people. We’re starting new chapters in our development as we evolve here, and I like the young people doing this.

“We were in an environment previously where everything really funneled to the top, and maybe some of the young people that have worked real hard didn’t get a chance to have their positions heard or maybe didn’t speak up as much. I’ve encouraged them to be collaborative, and I think the combination of Jerod (Mayo) and Matt (Groh) and together with Eliot (Wolf), I’m actually excited.”

On the 2024 New England Patriots Expectations

“My hope and expectation is to make the playoffs,” Kraft responded. “That’s something realistically.”

The team’s CEO continued, “We have a new leadership team. We’re gonna have a lot of young players. We don’t know. A lot can happen. We might struggle more than I want. I really feel like we have a good young team. I just hope we don’t struggle. But in the end, everything is chit-chat until you get on the field. I believe we’re going in the right direction.”

On “The Dynasty” Series

“I felt bad that there was so much emphasis on the more controversial and let’s say challenging situations over the last 20 years,” Kraft said. “I wish they had focused more on our Super Bowl wins, our 21-game win streak”

Kraft went on to say that he, “Felt bad there were players (such as Devin McCourty and Rodney Harrison) who gave hours and hours of interviews and they felt only the negativity. So, a little disappointed that there wasn’t more of a real positive approach, especially for Patriots fans who have lived the experience with us.”

On Bill Belichick’s Villainous Portrayal in “The Dynasty”

“Look, I’ll state this clearly, I feel so privileged that we had Bill (Belichick) here. We hope when he’s finished that we’re going to have a chance to honor him the way we will do with Tom Brady this year.”

“I look forward to the privilege of putting Bill (Belichick) into the Patriots Hall of Fame one day in the future,” Robert Kraft concluded.

On the Patriots Poor Grades in the NFLPA Report Card

“I must tell you, I was unaware of how bad that was,” Kraft said. “We have a plan, and we put in place, where we’re committing a whole new facility adjacent to ours that has been discussed with the young leadership team. A building that will be in excess of $50 million.”

Robert Kraft spoke of fixing the aspects that led to poor grades. “We have to correct anything. I was not aware, even of this daycare issue. That’s something that’s fixable and we want to do. Look, the players are the heart and soul of the business. I’d be very surprised if that didn’t improve.”

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