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New England Patriots Links 4/21/11 - Kraft: No Football This Fall Would Be "Criminal"

Tom E. Curran reports Patriots owner Robert Kraft was asked how optimistic he was about NFL football being played this fall at Gillette.

"I promise I will do everything I can do," said Kraft, who was clear about needing to steer clear of any questions that would compromise the ongoing litigation in federal court. "It would really be criminal if we don't have football here on Sundays."

"I know [NFL commissioner Roger Goodell] and [lead NFL counsel] Jeff Pash and our whole team are doing everything they can do to continue negotiations," said Kraft. "We've got to negotiate, not litigate. We should have a deal. There's a deal ready to be done where we can play football in the fall. You saw our schedule come out [Tuesday]. We're excited about that and now we have to find a way to get the players back in."

Michael Lombardi ( Wheeling-and-dealing Patriots will be must-see on draft day.

And evaluate is what Belichick does best. He values each player, never falling in love with the name, only correctly evaluating the talent. The Patriots, like most teams, enter their draft room intent on selecting talented players at any position. And they always have a cluster of five or six players who have been similarly graded, which allows them to be flexible to move down.

Unlike most teams, the Patriots never fall in love with just one player, therefore they can move down. However, they never just move to move. Because of this cluster of picks, Belichick knows he can trade the 28th overall pick because he has the 33rd as his next. He would only lose five players off his board and gain a better contract and more value for that selection.

Before they would agree to a trade, the Patriots calculated how far they can move down and still get a player of equal talent with their new pick. They will never make a move that takes them away from acquiring talent, therefore finding the right trade partner is equally important as what value they receive back in the trade. I can actually visualize a scenario in which the Patriots move from No. 28 to the mid 30s, and then move pick No. 33 to the low the 40s and end up with the same players they would have selected at Nos. 28 and 33.




  • Tim Graham (ESPN) AFC East analysis with draft a week away.
  • Pete Prisco (CBS Sports) Top 100 players in the NFL: 1-50 and 51-100.
  • Aaron Wilson (Nat'l Football Post) NBC, ESPN, NFL Network unveil prime-time schedule.
  • Pete Prisco (CBS Sports) Barring disaster, NFL's 2011 sked has a lot to love.
  • Kerry J. Byrne - Cold Hard Football Facts (SI) Ten glaring holes that need to be filled by teams in 2011 NFL Draft.