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#pounditMonday, September 20, 2021

Robert Kraft shares thoughts on Patriots’ free agent spending spree

Robert Kraft

The New England Patriots have spent by far more money this offseason than any other since they hired Bill Belichick more than 20 years ago, and that must have felt just as unusual for team owner Robert Kraft as the rest of us.

The Patriots have typically emphasized building through the draft and retaining their own players, but this offseason was a lot different. They had numerous holes to fill and more salary cap space than almost every other team, so Belichick decided to shell out $130 million in guaranteed money. Kraft admitted to Albert Breer of The MMQB that the spending spree was “exciting.”

“Look, we want to win. We’re spoiled. We got used to winning all the time. And that’s our objective. … It was a chance for us to recharge. We’ve never done anything like this in all the years I’ve owned the team. So what we did, as we were competing for new players, normally in free agency, you’ll have 10 or 12 teams going after it. Here, we had two or three.”

Kraft made sure to point out that games aren’t won in free agency, however.

“Look, we’re not going to know till the fall — we always used to make fun of the people who won the headlines in March — but here I believe we really improved our team,” he said.

There is no question the Patriots have improved their roster. They may have had the worst collection of skill position players in the NFL last season, and they addressed that by signing the top two tight ends on the free agent market in Jonnu Smith and Hunter Henry. They also bolstered their receiving corps by giving big contracts to Nelson Agholor and Kendrick Bourne.

Defensively, the Patriots signed top pass-rusher Matt Judon, cornerback Jalen Mills and nose tackle Davon Godchaux. They also brought back linebacker Kyle Van Noy with a very savvy Belichick move.

Kraft is no doubt hoping for better results in 2021 after a 7-9 season. He also just watched Tom Brady win a seventh Super Bowl, and the decision to part ways with Brady was almost certainly Belichick’s.

If all the money the Patriots spent doesn’t produce some immediate results, Belichick will have plenty of questions to answer. Some of those questions may come directly from Kraft.

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