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Wednesday Patriots Notebook 3/27: News and Notes

Ian Logue
Ian Logue on Twitter
March 27, 2024 at 11:28 am ET

Wednesday Patriots Notebook 3/27: News and Notes(PHOTO: Robert Deutsch - USA TODAY Sports)

🕑 Read Time: 5 minutes

Some Patriots news and notes for this morning:

Kraft Speaks on Patriots’ Offseason

Patriots owner Robert Kraft spoke to reporters on Tuesday at the NFL Owner’s Meetings, with Kraft addressing various topics during a press conference that lasted a little over 15 minutes.

Kraft talked about what’s transpired so far through free agency, as well as providing some insight into how they’ll potentially approach the draft next month.

Obviously, there’s been some disappointment after the club was unable to lure in any top-tier free agents, with receiver Calvin Ridley’s name certainly sitting at the forefront, given how that played out after Ridley ultimately ended up in Tennessee.

However, it felt as though Ridley never really had any intent on coming to New England, with the club at one point reportedly feeling their offer was being ‘used’ to increase his value as they continued bidding against the Jaguars.

Some also talked about the millionaire’s tax in Massachusetts being an issue, which Kraft admitted was the case with Ridley but that the club apparently offered to try and make up the difference.  However, there were still other issues that he admitted were a problem, and that’s why the deal ultimately didn’t come to fruition.

“We pursued the people we wanted in free agency,” said Kraft.  “There was one outstanding receiver that, unfortunately, we couldn’t close.  It was not because of finance.  I mean, clearly, his girlfriend wanted to be in the south, and we had a situation with the taxes, [they] were like almost 10% higher.  We offered, and were willing to keep going to add that premium, but he didn’t want to be in the northeast.  And part of it might be the quarterback situation as well.”

Meanwhile, Kraft also emphasized that he was pleased to at least the see the club retain some of the foundational pieces, having re-signed 11 players this offseason.  Among those were some key names, with Mike Onwenu, Hunter Henry, Kendrick Bourne, Kyle Dugger, Anfernee Jennings, and Josh Uche among some of the notable ones.

“I think we’re getting the system of functioning the way we did where this year, we signed a number of younger players that we had drafted or had been in our system,” said Kraft.  “As a foundation, if you want to win consistently, you have to draft well and then get those players on the second contract.  We started to do that this year.”

Kraft Wants a QB, But Keeps Options Open

Kraft also said that he’d like to see a quarterback taken at #3, noting how important that position obviously is to the success of any football team.  However, he acknowledged that there are other teams who are “desperate” to move up, and he’s willing to explore the option of potentially moving the pick if the situation does arise.

“I guess, as a fan – I put my fan hat on – and I definitely would … you know, in the end, you can’t win in this league consistently unless you have a first-rate quarterback and a first-rate coach,” said Kraft.  “On the other hand, you’re in a different position, and we’ve never been in the third draft position since we’ve owned the team and what happens, a lot of people behind are really desperate to move up.”

“So we’re going to be open to whatever can come our way, but 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.”

Among those teams could be Minnesota, the New York Giants, or even potentially Denver, who is rumored to be the latest team pondering a move up the draft board.

Kraft later made a comment where he said, “But one way or another, we know at some point we’re going to get a young quarterback who will be gifted.  Fortunately, there’s a number of them in this draft, and where we take that position will depend on what comes to us.”  It sort of makes you wonder if the team potentially does have a contingency plan in place further down the board for a player should one of those teams come to them with an offer they can’t refuse.

(PHOTO: Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports)

Kraft Not Happy with ‘The Dynasty’

Kraft was also asked about ‘The Dynasty’ docuseries on Apple TV, with many feeling like it focused far too much on the negative, along with the fact it left out some significant aspects of the team’s historic run.

The Patriots owner echoed those sentiments on Tuesday, admitting that he’s also heard the comments of former players and wishes it had been presented differently.

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

“You know, I felt bad, there were players who gave hours and hours of interviews and they felt only the negativity – people like Devin McCourty and Rodney Harrison, and Matthew [Slater] – although I just heard quietly that they’ve all felt that way.”

“Actually, there were some really prominent people that were interviewed for hours and never were used.  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.”

He was also asked if he felt that former head coach Bill Belichick was also portrayed poorly, which Kraft didn’t answer, but went on to praise his former coach.

“I feel so privileged that we had Bill here and 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,” said Kraft.  “We did this little ceremony at halftime of the Eagles game, but it was not adequate, and we looking forward to being able to celebrate putting him into the Patriots Hall of Fame 6-12-24, and I look forward to the privilege of putting Bill into the Patriots Hall of Fame one day in the future.”

Odds and Ends

Former Patriots defensive back Malcolm Butler’s retirement isn’t off to a great start, with Butler reportedly having been arrested earlier this month in North Providence, Rhode Island for drunk driving.  According to CBS News, when the officer who pulled Butler over asked if he had been drinking, he allegedly replied, “just take me to jail.”  The arrest came just six days after his retirement from the NFL back on March 10th … One concern heading into next month is after what happened with Mac Jones, whether or not the team has the support system in place for a young QB.  Kraft believes they absolutely do.  “Definitely,” said Kraft.  “I think Alex Van Pelt has had great experience.  I don’t think the last couple of years, how we handled the offense – speaking as a fan – was the kind of approach we wanted.  But one way or another, we know at some point we’re going to get a young quarterback who will be gifted.” … Kraft also acknowledged the NFLPA survey, noting that the club has allocated $50 million for a new facility to be built adjacent to the stadium, along with the club addressing some of the complaints regarding treatment of player’s families.  “I was not aware, even of this daycare issue,” said Kraft.  “I mean, that’s something that’s fixable, and we want to do.  Look, the players are the heart and soul of the business, so I’d be very surprised if that didn’t improve.”

READ NEXT:
Thursday Patriots Notebook 3/28: News and Notes

About Ian Logue

Ian Logue is a Seacoast native and owner and senior writer for PatsFans.com, an independent media site covering the New England Patriots and has been running this site in one form or another since 1997.


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