Robert Kraft Compares Patriots Free-Agency Spending to Investing in Stock Market

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistMarch 22, 2021

New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft points to special teams captain Matthew Slater before an NFL football game against the Buffalo Bills, Monday, Dec. 28, 2020, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
Elise Amendola/Associated Press

The New England Patriots were the most aggressive team on the free-agent market this offseason, which owner Robert Kraft believes was a sound strategy. 

"It's like investing in the stock market," Kraft told Peter King of NBC Sports. "You take advantage of corrections and inefficiencies in the market when you can, and that's what we did here. We'll see. Nothing is guaranteed, and I'm very cognizant of that. But we're not in the business to be in business. We're in this business to win."

The Patriots added many of the biggest names on the open market this offseason, including Matt Judon, Hunter Henry, Jonnu Smith and Jalen Mills.

In a year where many teams were cutting costs due to a reduced salary cap, the Patriots entered free agency with the third-most cap room at $69 million, per King.

New England took advantage by outbidding the rest of the league on key players.

"We had the second or third-most cap room at the start of free agency," Kraft said. "This year, instead of having 10 or 12 teams competing for most of the top players, there were only two or three. And in my 27 years as owner, I've never had to come up with so much capital before."

The Patriots guaranteed more money this offseason than any team in history, including an incredible $137.5 million in the first 24 hours of free agency alone, per ESPN's Adam SchefterIt's certainly a new strategy for New England, which had previously developed a reputation for letting players walk when they became too expensive to retain.

Of course, it's not surprising to see the mindset change after the team's worst season in two decades.

After an unprecedented run of success with Tom Brady under center that included six Super Bowl titles in 20 years, the Patriots struggled to a 7-9 record in the first year without the future Hall of Fame quarterback.

It is hoped the spending spree will help turn things around following the franchise's first losing season since 2000.