Kraft: Unique 'Big Cap Opportunity' Led to Free Agent Frenzy

The New England Patriots were the biggest spenders in the NFL in the first week of free agency
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The man who approved the Patriots agreeing to approximately $175 million in guaranteed money to incoming free agents last week thinks his team has improved, but he’s not making plans for his club to be in the Super Bowl just yet.

“It was a chance for us to recharge. We’ve never done anything like this in all the years I’ve owned the team,” Kraft told Albert Breer of MMQB. “So what we did, as we were competing for new players, normally in free agency, you’ll have 10 or 12 teams going after it. Here, we had two or three. I just want to compliment our staff, our organization, Bill [Belichick], all the scouting and personnel people, for a real team effort. Look, we’re not going to know till the fall — we always used to make fun of the people who won the headlines in March — but here I believe we really improved our team.”

In order for the Patriots to not be the ones laughed at this winter, a vast majority of tight ends Jonnu Smith and Hunter Henry, linebacker Matthew Judon, wide receivers Kendrick Bourne and Nelson Agholor, defensive tackle Devon Godchaux and defensive lineman Henry Anderson will have to come through. All were imported during the first week of free agency.

For now, Kraft can enjoy the Pats winning March.

“We gotta win,” he said. “And I think we’re in a better position than we were two weeks ago to do that. But we’ll let things play out. I’ve never had to come up with as much capital this fast, if you total the numbers, but we’re happy to do it and we hope it has the right outcome.”