Robert Kraft has owned the Patriots since 1994, a tenure which has included the most notable feats in the franchise’s history. If he has his way, Kraft’s stint owning the franchise will not be ending any time soon.
The 81-year-old made it clear during an appearance on Fox Business that he is “never selling” the six-time Super Bowl winning team. The Patriots would certainly net a substantial sales price if that stance were to ever change, but being able to hand ownership of the franchise was one generation to the next is clearly Kraft’s top priority.
“We’ve set it up so that it hopefully stays in the family for many decades to come,” he said, via Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk. “After my family, the New England Patriots are the most important thing in my life. It’s not a business, it’s really part of my family… I love being in the locker room, being around the players. I just pinch myself that I’ve been so privileged to own a franchise in my hometown.”
Here are some other notes out of Foxborough:
- Veteran safety Devin McCourty is a pending free agent, as was special teams ace Matthew Slater before he decided to continue his Patriots career for at least one more season. McCourty has yet to decide on his future, as detailed by Karen Guregian of the Boston Herald. The 35-year-old has been in New England since 2010, and he remained a productive, full-time starter in 2022 with 71 tackles and four interceptions. The former first-rounder’s most recent one-year deal contains a $9.7MM cap charge in 2023 via void years, but a new contract could alter that figure. He intends to make a decision about his playing future by the middle of March, likely in time for the start of the new league year.
- Details are in on the new deal signed by offensive tackle Conor McDermott earlier this month. The 30-year-old will play in New England on a two-year contract with a base value of $3.6MM (Twitter link via ESPN’s Field Yates). The pact also contains incentives based on playing time, though, which means it could top out at $5.1MM. McDermott proved to be a valuable midseason signing off the Jets’ practice squad, as he started at right tackle to close out the regular season. He will at least compete for the No. 1 role at that spot this offseason.
- McCourty’s future is up in the air, but so is that of two-time Patriot Malcolm Butler. The Super Bowl winning corner rejoined New England last offseason, but was ultimately released with an injury designation. He now feels 100% healthy, as noted by ESPN’s Mike Reiss, and is contemplating another attempted comeback as a player or the prospect of retiring and returning to college while transitioning to coaching. He last played with the Titans in 2020.