Bill Belichick isn't going to be available to the media this week at the NFL meetings in Phoenix – the Patriots coach missed Tuesday's coaches' breakfast with the media thanks to a reported "scouting conflict" – but New England owner Robert Kraft did talk to reporters in Arizona on Monday.
The chat brought forth Kraft's interesting comments on his coach, his quarterback and a variety of other topics surrounding the Patriots busy offseason less than two months from a fifth Super Bowl victory.
The Boston Globe leads things off with Kraft relaying Tom Brady’s intentions of playing another six or seven seasons despite the quarterback preparing to turn 40 this summer. The Globe also has Kraft saying he’d like restricted free agent cornerback Malcolm Butler to remain in New England.
The biggest league news at the annual meeting was owners approving the Raiders move to Las Vegas, which the *Globe* says is a gamble.
The Boston Herald says the Patriots still need to plan for Brady’s successor, even with the quarterback planning to play well into his 40s. The Herald passes along Kraft saying NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is welcome at the Patriots 2017 season opener and banner-raising. The Herald also has Kraft declaring that the Patriots are well positioned for the long haul as well as the owner hoping to see Butler in a Patriots uniform this coming fall.* Herald columnist Ron Borges writes that the Raiders are taking a big gamble moving to Vegas. The *Herald also tracks down Gronk DJ-ing down in Miami.
The Providence Journal notes Kraft hoping that Belichick will coach the Patriots into his 80s.
WEEI.com points out that Belichick was in attendance at the University of Florida pro day rather than the media breakfast in Arizona. WEEI.com passes along Dolphins owner Stephen Ross' response to Brady's desire to play six of seven more years – “good luck.” WEEI.com points out that Kraft compared wide receiver Brandin Cooks’ arrival in New England this offseason to that of Randy Moss back in 2007. WEEI.com also offers advice as to how Butler can get paid.
CSNNE.com also notes the Cooks comparison to Moss, who had an NFL record 23 touchdown catches in his first season in New England working with Brady. CSNNE.com also has Kraft saying he “would love” to see Darrelle Revis return to New England for a second tour of duty.
NJ.com has an interesting story in which Giants co-owner Steve Tisch claims that Kraft told him that New York would have beaten the Patriots if the team had actually advanced to Super Bowl LI.
NFL.com has Dolphins V.P. Mike Tannebaum declaring that the team isn't only focused on catching the Patriots in the AFC East, but trying to "build a program" in Miami. NFL.com debates the best fit for Revis' future, and interestingly none of its panelists lists the Patriots.
NESN.com breaks down how low-profile free agent addition Lawrence Guy’s versatility could fit on the New England defensive line.
ESPNBoston.com looks at the idea that rules proposals have a better chance to pass if they don't come from the Patriots.