WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft held court Monday and the owners meetings.
Here are some additional notes of interest from Kraft and the reigning AFC East champs:
Kraft said the Patriots are for the proposed rule of being able to take a player off injured reserved if healthy. Currently, teams have to make the decision to carry an injured player on the active roster or end his season. "I think [this] is the biggest [proposed change]." Kraft said. "Even the year with [Tom] Brady and the Kansas City game, he possibly could have come back at the end of that year. He actually wanted to, I remember the discussion. I think all it does is just allow us to keep the game more exciting for those teams that are trying to play to make it [to] the playoffs. It’s a great opportunity to be able to do that."
The Patriots are still open to signing leading receiver Wes Welker long term, and Kraft hopes that is the case. But it was hard to tell whether there was legit optimism. Welker was given the one-year franchise tag for about $9.4 million in 2012. "I'm happy he's part of our team this year, and I'm hoping that he’s part of our team long-term," Kraft said. "He represents everything we love."
Kraft explained New England's philosophy in free agency as "quality depth management" and get players who provide "good values." New England did not jump into the free-agent spending spree during the first few days. But the team landed veteran receiver Brandon Lloyd at a modest price. "You can only pay so many players top dollar and field a team that will be competitive," Kraft said.