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Patriots owner Robert Kraft optimistic that the NFL will play this fall despite Covid-19

Related: What we would talk about if the Patriots’ OTAs and minicamp actually took place

Super Bowl LIV at Hard Rock Stadium Jose Carlos Fajardo/MediaNews Group/The Mercury News via Getty Images

The future of the NFL is very much in question due to the Coronavirus pandemic that continues to impact the United States, but New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft sounds hopeful that the league will be back in the fall. Kraft appeared on FOX News on Tuesday to share his thoughts on the recent developments, and the league’s outlook for the 2020 season.

“We’re preparing to hopefully play football this fall,” Kraft said during the short interview. “We’re working hand-in-hand with our [players] union. We believe we will develop protocols that allow us to do it in a safe way — working it out first for our players and our personnel, and then, of course, the fans. And I believe we can do it.”

Whenever Kraft’s team will eventually be allowed to return to the field, be it for practices or actual games, it will look markedly different at the most important position: with Tom Brady having left the organization after two decades to join the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in free agency, the Patriots will have to field a new quarterback.

Kraft also touched on the topic of Brady’s departure, talking about the 20-year partnership he enjoyed with the future Hall of Famer as well as head coach Bill Belichick — a stretch that brought the organization a league-high six championships during that time and established the Patriots as pro football’s first and so far only dynasty since the introduction of the salary cap in the mid-90s.

“Well, I’m privileged,” said Kraft. “We’re about — please God — to start our second century in the NFL. I’m privileged to have the greatest quarterback in the history of the league in the first 100 years, and the greatest coach. And so, it’s been a great joy to have this partnership for 20 years, and be able to keep them together.”

While one of the pillars that helped build the so-called “Patriot Way” is gone, Kraft and Belichick remain in place to try and lead the organization into this new era.