The Patriots Charitable Foundation held its annual Community MVP awards luncheon today, honoring 22 individuals from around New England for exemplary volunteer service with a variety of organizations.
Robert Kraft and son Josh, who is in charge of the Charitable Foundation, presented the awards, and Bill Belichick posed for pictures with the honorees. Both Robert Kraft and Belichick also spent a few minutes chatting with reporters.
Each man was asked about New England getting two of its 12 draft picks under contract already, and both downplayed the significance of the early signings.
"We've always contacted the players and the agents after the draft process is over, about this time, when they start coming to camp," Belichick said. "Sometimes it works out, sometimes it doesn't. I don't think I'd read too much into it. I think Floyd [Reese] and Scott [Pioli] in the past have always done that. Sometimes it comes together, sometimes it's a process that takes a little longer and people want to wait to see what everybody else is doing."
Kraft was asked if the signings had anything to do with the NFL's labor situation.
"No, we're just trying to do our business. We're doing business as usual," he said. "We're trying to put our team in the best position to be able to compete year-in, year-out. And with the facts we have, we're going about our business in a normal manner. I'll be surprised if we don't have all our players in here for training camp."
Belichick said this week's OTA sessions are "going alright. We have a long way to go." He joked that the good weather has helped him work on his tan, and that as a coach he gets excited to return to the field for the sessions and get back to teaching players.
Kraft, who called the Community MVP luncheon one of his favorite events of the year, was asked about the status of contract talks with Logan Mankins and Tom Brady and said he isn't the one in charge of the negotiations, but added, "they are two young men that will be on this team. They are important to our future."