Patriots president Jonathan Kraft was a guest on the Dennis & Callahan show Friday morning and discussed the team's disappointing finish as well as the league's collective bargaining issues and how they will affect the Patriots. "We're not happy with how the season came out [but] we won our division, so we accomplished one of the goals we set out," Kraft said. "The season did not end up the way we wanted." Added Kraft: "It never felt for long stretches of time we were completely in synch like we were in the past. I think a lot of that has to do with the change on the defensive side of the ball."
Kraft implied that the Patriots will stay in house to replace defensive coordinator Dean Pees, noting that bringing in outsiders is risky as they may not adapt quickly enough to Belichick's style. "Clearly, we've had huge amounts of turnover here [in the past few years]," Kraft said. "I think Bill's aware probably on a regular basis we're going to get raided, so there's always a pool of young talent that he's developing."
Discussing the league's issues with the union, Kraft said: "I think the only thing we feel confident about over the next 18 months is that the rookie situation when things ultimately get settled will get settled out. The incredible amounts of money that are going to unproven players, especially in the top half of the first round, that will get corrected."
Talking about next season, Kraft said: "What's true is in 2010 there is not a [salary] cap you have to be at or under. So, you can make decisions that you could not have made prior to that. But you don't know what the rules will be in the future, and those are interrelated. ... It's going to be an entertaining and interesting offseason for sure."
Asked if the sides could come to an agreement before the 2010 season, Kraft said: "We're meeting all the time, but it's complicated. [An agreement is] not something we're planning for. The two sides are definitely spending time together and working hard. ... There's a chance."
To hear the interview, click on the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.
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