Robert Kraft just met with local, national and international media for about 20 minutes after NFL commissioner Roger Goodell’s state of the league address and touched on a number of things. Many of those had to do with the March 4 deadline and the messiness that is the ongoing Collective Bargaining Agreement saga, but there were a few Patriots-related nuggets.
We’re working to get a more complete transcript, but here are some quick quotes and highlights:
* Kraft called Logan Mankins one of the best players on the Patriots, and says he wants the offensive guard with the team long-term. However, he would not say whether the team will place the franchise tag on Mankins or whether there are negotiations currently between the team and Mankins’ representatives.
* On Tom Brady’s foot surgery: “We talked before he left…he has such a great attitude; the only good part about us losing to Jets is he could get that done right away and heal.”
* Asked what was missing for the Patriots in that New York loss, Kraft is clearly still bothered by it. “I don’t know, a good game plan?” He called Brady’s early interception “lazy” but also gave the Jets credit several times for their play in victory.
* On weather woes and the Super Bowl, Kraft said he supported New York’s bid to host Super Bowl XVLIII for a variety of reasons. When his “sweetheart,” as he called her, wife Myra woke up this morning and saw six inches of snow on the ground in Dallas, she wondered why then can’t the Boston area host a Super Bowl? Kraft said “maybe New England should get on the list” to host a title game in the future. (Editorializing: At the very least, the Boston/Providence area knows how to deal with snow and ice efficiently, which has been an issue here in Dallas.)
* Kraft said he’s been invited to be part of tomorrow’s negotiating session between the NFL and NFL Players’ Association by Goodell and league lead negotiator Jeff Pash. It is believed that there will be only one or two other owners in the room.
* He once again reiterated that it would be “criminal” for the two sides not to get a deal done by the March 4 deadline. Asked if “criminal” is too strong of a word, Kraft wouldn’t back down.
We’ll have more shortly.