Kraft talks NFL issues at owners’ meetings


The owner of the New England Patriots, Robert Kraft, answered a bunch of questions at the owners’ meetings down in Irving, Texas, and offered his opinions on a variety of pressing issues. Kraft talked about his support for having a Super Bowl in New York (New Jersey), overtime rules, expansion of the regular season to 18 games, Tom Brady’s contract, and the possibility of a New England Superbowl. New York has officially gotten its Super Bowl, and Kraft voted in favor of the Big Apple (or Jersey) hosting Super Bowl XLVIII.

Ever since 9/11, I’ve hoped that something like this could happen,” Kraft said. “It’s just reaffirming support for that great city and region, New Jersey and New York. … I see two major things: Payback to the people of that region in bringing what I think is the greatest sporting event in the world, to host it, and thank them for what’s gone on almost a decade later; And then also a thank you to the owners who stepped up and took one out there with real financial stakes.”

Could this possibly open the door for a New England Super Bowl?

I think that ship has sailed.”

That’s unfortunate, though a successful cold-weather Super Bowl in New York (New Jersey) could open the door in the future to the possibility. Pats President and COO Jonathon Kraft thinks the NY (NJ) Super Bowl is a test-run.

Bob Kraft favors there being a single rule for overtime play, not separate rules for the regular season and the playoffs:

I would support it (a single overtime rule), I believe we should have one rule. There shouldn’t be one for the playoffs and one for the regular season. But I think there’s a sentiment to try it out and see what happens, and then expand it. I’m not sure anything will happen on that at this meeting. It’ll be discussed. But in the end, I think there should be one rule, regular season and playoffs.”

He also favors the league turning two of the preseason games into regular season games, thus expanding the regular season to 18 games:

I think that’ll help us secure a new labor arrangement. We have to look for ways to generate more revenue and have our cost structure reflect what we’d like to do. We have a 20-game schedule now, so it’s going to stay at 20 games. It’s just that we’ll have two preseason games. I think our season-ticket holders will like it better. I think in the end, it’ll make for a better season.

“It’s the same season, it’s 20 games. It’s a function of how much players play in the preseason. We actually have statistics show that at the end of the year – second half of the season and in the playoffs – there are actually less injuries than there are in the beginning of the year.

“I can understand the concern, and if any of them would like to take a reduction in pay … It’s just a matter of you can’t have it all ways. If you want to see your salaries grow than you have to do things that allow the revenues to grow.”

Kraft also reiterated that he believes a new deal for QB Tom Brady will get done, though there is no timetable:

We’re very lucky to have him as our quarterback and we want him to be our quarterback for a long time into the future. Everything he represents is pretty special. He’s a winner. We’re privileged to have him a part of the New England Patriots organization.”