Robert Kraft pushes against narrative of Patriots’ tight spending habits

“Spending will never be held back or the reason that we don’t sign players.”   The New England Patriots

Robert Kraft pushes against narrative of Patriots’ tight spending habits

“Spending will never be held back or the reason that we don’t sign players.”


The New England Patriots are bracing themselves for one of the most consequential offseasons in franchise history.

Not only does New England currently hold the No. 3 overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft, but the Patriots are projected to have the third-most cap space in the league this spring at $66,032,006 (per


And in an interview with several Patriots reporters in Las Vegas ahead of Super Bowl LVIII, Robert Kraft stressed that New England will not have any limitations when it comes to flexing its fiscal muscle in the coming months.

“I know there’s a perception that we have held back on spending,” Kraft said, per The Boston Globe’s Nicole Yang. “Let me just say, for our fans, that’s just not true.”

New Patriots head coach Jerod Mayo noted last month during an interview on WEEI that New England was “ready to burn some cash” in an effort to improve a roster that bottomed out at 4-13 last season.

While New England established a two-decade dynasty under the watch of Kraft, Bill Belichick, and Tom Brady, the Patriots have not been one of the top cash-spending teams in the NFL for an extended stretch.

NBC Sports Boston’s Phil Perry — citing ESPN — noted that the Patriots rank last in the NFL in cash spending over the last 10 years ($1.62 billion).

According to Yang, New England ranked 31st in the NFL last season in cash spending at $209,450,254, nearly $100 million lower than the league-leading Baltimore Ravens.

Speaking on Thursday, Kraft stressed that Belichick — who served as the Patriots’ de-facto general manager during his 24-year reign in Foxborough — was always given the go-ahead to spend.

And while Kraft noted that New England’s six titles validated most of Belichick’s personnel moves over the years, he added that he advocated for New England to sign pricier players at times. However, Kraft opted to defer to Belichick and whoever else made the call on personnel decisions.

“Look, we were blessed to have a coach in our system who was a great coach and also understood value,” Kraft said. “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 always could spend at whatever level they wanted.

“I think Bill was always thinking about the future and really understood value. But we never held back with any of the coaches we’ve had over the last 30 years. They’ve been able to get whatever they want. If cash spending became an issue for our family, and we couldn’t do it, then I would sell the team.”

New England’s front-office personnel might have been reshuffled this offseason, but several holdovers from last year in Eliot Wolf and Matt Groh remain in place.

But given the number of holes present across New England’s depth chart — especially on the offensive side of the ball — Kraft believes that the Patriots will be aggressive this spring in an effort to bolster Mayo’s team.

“I can assure our fans that spending will never be held back or the reason that we don’t sign players,” Kraft said. “Winning football games, after my family, is the most important thing in my life. Whatever we can do to help make that happen, we’re going to do. I’m sorry this misconception has been out there.”

Of course, the first step to a successful offseason for New England involves the Patriots landing a franchise-shifting talent in the draft — be it a quarterback like LSU’s Jayden Daniels or a No. 1 wideout like Ohio State’s Marvin Harrison Jr.

“This is the first time in 31 years of ownership that we’re drafting at the position that we are, and have a chance to get some great players, and also have the cap room that we’ve carried over,” Kraft said. “I hope it positions us for the next few years beautifully. I’ve said that to the team. It’s pretty exciting. Now we’ve got to measure nine times and cut once.”

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