Patriots owner Robert Kraft dug deep into his pockets to make sure the dynasty isn’t dead. “In my 27 years as owner,” Kraft told NBC Sports’ “Football Morning in America” column,
Patriots owner Robert Kraft dug deep into his pockets to make sure the dynasty isn’t dead.
“In my 27 years as owner,” Kraft told NBC Sports’ “Football Morning in America” column, “I’ve never had to come up with so much capital before.”
That’s because the Patriots broke their mold and went on a wild free-agency spending spree last week, signing 19 players to contracts worth nearly $300 million, according to Spotrac. The guaranteed money in those deals is at least $162 million – or about $10 million less than Kraft spent to buy the Patriots franchise in 1996.
“It’s like investing in the stock market,” Kraft said. “You take advantage of corrections and inefficiencies in the market when you can, and that’s what we did here. We’ll see. Nothing is guaranteed, and I’m very cognizant of that. But we’re not in the business to be in business. We’re in this business to win.”
The Patriots (7-9) missed the playoffs for the first time since 2008 and suffered their first losing season since 2000, when a rookie quarterback named Tom Brady was on the bench. Brady led the Patriots to 17 AFC East titles and six Super Bowls before winning his seventh championship with the Buccaneers last season.
During those years, the Patriots infamously searched for free-agent bargains and hard-lined their own free agents: play here for less and win, or take more money somewhere else and face uncertainty.
“I do remember we always made fun of the teams that spent a lot in the offseason,” Kraft said.
Entering the offseason with the third-most salary-cap space available ($69 million) when most other teams were crunched for room allowed the Patriots to accelerate their rebuild with the likes of Matthew Judon and the top two tight ends on the market, Jonnu Smith and Hunter Henry. The Patriots spent more on the first day of free agency in 2021 than over the full length of any other offseason.
“This year,” Kraft said, “instead of having 10 or 12 teams competing for most of the top players, there were only two or three.
This story originally appeared on: NyPost - Author:Ryan Dunleavy