The NFL Owners meetings are behind held this week in Florida. That event has provided us a chance to hear from the Patriots’ biggest decision makers for the first time since the end of the 2021 season. On Monday, Bill Belichick took the podium and answered questions for 30 minutes. Tuesday morning, it was Robert Kraft’s turn to meet with reporters.
“I’m a Patriot fan, big-time, first,” Kraft began. “More than anything, it bothers me that we haven’t been able to win a playoff game in the last three years.”
He plans on that trend ending soon though. When asked about a potential ‘slower rebuild’ that could take ‘a few years,’ Kraft replied “I’d expect it to happen as soon as this year. I think we’ve made the commitments as an organization.”
What makes Kraft so confident about the immediate future? “I think we have a lot of talent – some wonderful young men from last year and a couple in the weeds from before. It’s a chance for them to grow and hopefully come together,” Kraft said. “I’m a big fan of Mac Jones. You see how hard he works. He wants everything to go right. He puts in the time and energy, and his personality as a team guy. So we have a chance. Without a good coach and good quarterback, no matter how good the other players are, I don’t think you can win consistently. Hopefully, I believe we have both – an outstanding coach and a good young prospect at quarterback.”
Kraft also touted the team’s younger players when asked about the relative inactivity in free agency this year, as compared to the previous offseason. “I think we have a lot of young players that are coming into their own,” he noted. “I don’t think free agency is over. I know the big spending – remember, we have a salary cap. So there’s only so much we can do in that area. I do think we have an opportunity to pick people up, right along the way, right down to the final cuts. That to me is when free agency is over. I’ve seen it other years, people get all excited with the headlines now, but in the end it’s what happens throughout the entire year.”
On top of free agency, Kraft highlighted the draft as a way the Patriots can – and should – add impact players to the roster. “I’m happy that I think we had a great draft last year, and made up for what happen the previous four years or so. I look forward to hopefully having a great draft this year. That’s the only way you can build your team for the long-term and consistently, that you have a chance of winning – is having a good draft.”
What will the Patriots approach be in the draft this year? We explored that earlier this week in our second Patriots seven-round mock draft of the offseason.
Patriots Mock Draft 2.0: Post-free agency edition
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Alex Barth is a writer and digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Looking for a podcast guest? Let him know on Twitter @RealAlexBarth or via email at abarth@985TheSportsHub.com.