Robert Kraft says New England Patriots changing approach to NFL draft after recent misses contributed to free-agent spending spree
New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, who spent an NFL-record $165 million in guaranteed money in free agency, said the team's recent drafts have fallen short and a turnaround will be critical for future sustained success. Buy 4 Stidham Jarrett NFL Jerseys,
"In the end, if you want to have a good, consistent, winning football team, you can't do it in free agency Buy New England Patriots NFL Jerseys, . You have to do it through the draf Cheap Stitched NFL kids jerseys, t. I don't feel we've done the greatest job the last few years and I really hope, and I believe, I've seen a different approach this year," Kraft said Wednesday in his annual Q&A with reporters during the NFL owners meeti Cheap Stitched NFL kids jerseys, ng.
The Patriots, who finished 7-9 and missed the playoffs for the first time since 2008, have 10 picks in this year's draft (April 29-May 1). Their top selection is 15th overall, which will be their highest pick since tabbing linebacker Jerod Mayo 10th overall in 2008.
Their free-agent spending spree, which Kraft explained was strategic in terms of how quickly the team moved with limited competition from other teams due to the declining salary cap, was necessary to fill some holes that would have ideally been filled by draft picks.
"What happened here last year was not something to our liking. We had to make the corrections," Kraft said. "In all the businesses we're involved in, we try to take advantage of inefficiencies in the market. We were in a unique cap situation this year and it allowed us to try to [fix] things we missed, to a certain extent, in the draft. So this was our best opportunity.
"In the end, it all comes out to what happens on the field and how well people execute. You really don't know how good a draft is for at least two years, especially in the environment we're in now ... I'm not quite sure still now what our offseason training and learning abilities will be. I think last year, younger players were really disadvantaged because they didn't have the time to learn."
Kraft said that also applied, in part, to quarterback Cam Newton after he joined the Patriots in early July without the benefit of an offseason. So while Kraft said that the team still needs to solidify the quarterback position, he's not ruling out Newton being the answer in 2021 and possibly beyond.
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