The issue of cash spending has been a talking point for the Patriots in recent years in particular, but the departure of Bill Belichick and the cap situation the team is in could bring about a change. When speaking about the matter, owner Robert Kraft pushed back on criticism of the team’s financial approach while stating money will not be an issue in the coming offseason.
“I know there’s a perception that we have held back on spending,” Kraft said, via Nicole Yang of the Boston Globe. “Let me just say, for our fans, that’s just not true.”
New England ranked 31st in the league with respect to cash (as opposed to salary cap) spending in 2023, continuing a trend in terms of Belichick’s roster management preferences as de facto general manager. The Patriots do not have a recent track record of retaining many homegrown players on second contracts, relying heavily on players on their rookie deals and low-cost veterans. Things could change moving forward with Eliot Wolf now in charge of roster decisions, but Kraft defended the approach Belichick employed for many years.
“Look, we were blessed to have a coach in our system who was a great coach and also understood value,” Kraft added. “He ran a tight ship. They say we’ve been low spenders in the last 10 years, and that might be true, but we had a pretty good record. And we won three Super Bowls. But our coaches have always had the ability to spend at whatever level they wanted.”
The issue of finances was a public talking point this summer between Belichick and Kraft in advance of the season in which their storied working relationship ultimately came to an end. New head coach Jerod Mayo will oversee the team’s transition, one which will likely include a starting quarterback being added either in free agency or the draft. The Patriots have the No. 3 selection as well as the third-most cap space in the league at the moment, so their new brain trust will have considerable flexibility in attempting to rebound from the struggles of the post-Tom Brady era.