This offseason, the New England Patriots and team owner Robert Kraft have been on a spending spree — a move that contradicts past business practices.
“I do remember we always made fun of the teams that spent a lot in the offseason. We know nothing is guaranteed, and I’m very cognizant of that,” Kraft told Peter King in his “Football Morning in America” column.
Since the NFL’s legal tampering period began on March 15, the Patriots have spent an NFL record $162 million in guaranteed money in free agency, and could top $172 million this offseason. And this epic payout doesn’t include the recent signings of defensive tackle Montravius Adams, center Ted Karras, and linebacker Raekwon McMillan.
Kraft purchased the franchise for $172 million in 1994, the highest price tag for a professional football team at the time. In 2020, the Patriots spent a total of $24.4 million on free-agent signings, per Spotrac.
“In my 27 years as owner, I’ve never had to come up with so much capital before,” said Kraft.
The Patriots entered the free-agency period with $69 million to spend, the third-most in the NFL. But in addition to having the cash, the spending spree was facilitated by the market of talented players and limited competition from other teams due to the first salary-cap drop in 10 years.
“It’s like investing in the stock market,” Kraft said. “You take advantage of corrections and inefficiencies in the market when you can, and that’s what we did here.”