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Mike Petraglia, Chris Price talk Vince Wilfork, Robert Kraft and Patriots spending habits 04.02.14 at 10:27 pm ET
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FOXBORO —’s Mike Petraglia and Chris Price analyze the return of Vince Wilfork, following his three-year, $22 million extension and what it means for the Patriots going forward. Petraglia and Price also discuss Patriots owner Robert Kraft and his growing fatigue with ‘petty’ financial issues every season.

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Robert Kraft issues statement on passing of Ralph Wilson 03.25.14 at 5:23 pm ET
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Patriots Chairman and CEO Robert Kraft issued the following statement Tuesday on the passing of Buffalo Bills owner Ralph Wilson Jr.:

‘€œI would like to extend my sincerest sympathies to Ralph’€™s wife, Mary, his daughters and his extended family, including every coach, player, staff member and fan of the Buffalo Bills who are mourning his loss today. As one of the founding fathers of the AFL, Ralph deserves a lot of credit for taking that initial risk and for the many contributions he made to the NFL over the past 54 years. He built a franchise that the Buffalo community loves and embraces. Personally, I will always be grateful for how he welcomed me when I first entered the league. He was always a gracious host and I will never forget that. I will miss him.’€

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Bill Belichick on Vince Wilfork: ‘If you have any questions about Vince, you should ask Vince’ at 9:31 am ET
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ORLANDO — Patriots coach Bill Belichick deferred all questions on the status of defensive lineman Vince Wilfork Tuesday, saying that, “if you have any questions about Vince, you should ask Vince.”

Wilfork reportedly requested his release earlier this month, and a story from the Boston Herald Monday indicated he had taken down his nameplate and cleaned out his locker at Gillette Stadium. While owner Robert Kraft seemed to sound an optimistic note about Wilfork’s status on Monday, Belichick wouldn’t comment on the matter on Tuesday.

“I’€™m not going to talk about anything with any of our specific players, I’m not going to get into that,” Belichick said when quizzed about Wilfork during the AFC coaches breakfast at the league meetings. “If you have any questions about Vince, you should ask Vince, or [questions about] any other players, you should talk to those players.

“You need to talk to him about any of those statements,” he added when pressed further on Wilfork. “I think you should verify first.”

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Bill Belichick: ‘Looking forward’ to chance to work with Darrelle Revis at 9:07 am ET
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Bill Belichick at the AFC coaches breakfast Tuesday morning. (Photo courtesy Erik Scalavino, Patriots Football Weekly)

Bill Belichick holds court at the AFC coaches breakfast Tuesday morning. (Erik Scalavino/Patriots Football Weekly)

ORLANDO — Patriots coach Bill Belichick said Tuesday he’s “looking forward” to the chance to work with veteran cornerback Darrelle Revis.

Speaking at the AFC coaches breakfast at the annual meetings, Belichick didn’t sound “super excited” like owner Robert Kraft did on Monday when talking about the free agent haul, but was upbeat when speaking about the pickup of Revis.

“I think he’€™ll help our team,” Belichick said of Revis, who was signed as a free agent earlier this month. “He’€™s a good player [who] does a lot of things well. We’re looking forward to working with him.”

Belichick acknowledged that Revis was a traditional free agent pickup, saying that the Patriots believed the veteran cornerback was a “potential release,” but they weren’t 100 percent sure until Tampa Bay officially cut him loose.

“We try to keep tabs on all the players — we know the ones that are potentially [unrestricted free agents] going into the process, we know guys that are potentially non-tendered players,” Belichick said. “Some of those guys get signed back, some of them get tendered, some guys we think are going to get tendered don’€™t get tendered — there’€™s a little bit of movement there at the end and then some players get released.

“We thought he was a potential release, but we didn’t know that. They could’ve kept him, but they didn’t, so when they didn’t, that’€™s the process,” he added. “You never know exactly how free agency is going to go — there’€™s always twists and turns.

“Darrelle is a good player. We’€™ll see how it comes together with us, what his role is and how exactly he fits in our scheme and so forth,” Belichick added. “We’€™ll just have to see how that comes together.”

Belichick also touched on the acquisition of free agents Brandon Browner and Brandon LaFell.

“He was a productive player in Carolina [and] had some skills that we liked when he was coming out of LSU. We’€™ll see how it goes,” Belichick said of LaFell. “Obviously, [we] felt he was a good player and that’€™s why we signed him.”

On Browner: “Rare size for a corner. … Obviously, there’€™s a lot of things that we liked about it or we wouldn’t have signed him. It’s the same thing when we draft a player — we have to work with him, have them put it together and see how it comes together with that player on our team. But that’€™s a process we have to go through. Obviously, there’€™s things we liked, or we wouldn’t have signed him.”

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Report: Vince Wilfork cleans out his locker 03.24.14 at 4:49 pm ET
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According to a Boston Herald report, defensive lineman Vince Wilfork has cleaned out his locker at Gillette Stadium and taken down his nameplate.

The veteran, who reportedly requested his release earlier this month, hasn’t spoken publicly since that news broke, but according to the Herald, he’s disgruntled enough to consider his time in New England to be done.

That news comes in the wake of a public statement from owner Robert Kraft, who said Monday that he’s holding out hope that the two sides can come to some sort of agreement that would allow Wilfork to stay with the Patriots. Speaking at the league meetings in Orlando, Kraft called Wilfork one of his “personal favorites,” and struck an optimistic tone.

“We’€™ve been very close, and I’€™ll let Vince speak to whatever he feels is appropriate,” Kraft said. “I very much hope we get it done, and I believe he very much would like to do it as well. We’€™ve been so lucky to have him. So we’€™ll see what happens.

“€œYou know, for him, he’€™s making some individual decisions. For us, we have to put a team together of over 50 people,” he added. “We have a salary cap. In the end, it’€™s about both parties feeling it’€™s a good transaction and it’€™s a win-win. I think that’€™s what we’€™re both shooting for.”

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Highlights from rest of Robert Kraft’s Monday afternoon session with reporters at 2:51 pm ET
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Robert Kraft

Robert Kraft

ORLANDO — We’ve already covered most of what Patriots owner Robert Kraft discussed at the league meetings — check out those entries here, here and here — but here are a few other highlights of his Monday afternoon Q&A with the media:

Opening statement:
An interesting moment. We’€™ve owned the team 20 years and I was thinking back, I believe our first owners meeting was here 20 years ago. Different hotel, but when they voting to approve us as owners. A little emotional coming back and we’€™ve had an interesting couple of decades. So, fire away.

On the moves the team made in free agency were done with an eye toward the eventual retirement of Tom Brady:
We have the same system in place. There’s not one individual ‘€¦ I think sometimes there’s a misconception that we’re changing our philosophy. That isn’t true. All that has happened is that opportunities come up in the marketplace and when they come up we go for them. You want me to tell Brady that you’re suggesting he’s near the end of his career? Is that what you’re suggesting?

He did say he wanted to play until he was 50.
We hope he does. And he stays healthy and the way he trains and eats. It’s a good lesson for me.

Regarding the “arms race” with Denver:
When I bought the team, I was thinking ‘We could never really beat the Dolphins.’ I mean, for years, they beat us. We were able to transition and do OK against the Dolphins. Then, with the Broncos ‘€¦ for about 15 years, we couldn’t beat them. It looks like we’ve held our own. But it is a tremendous rivalry. We’re happy that they’re going to have to come to Foxboro this year — I”m hoping it’s in November or December. But we’ll see. I guess the schedule will be coming out in a couple of weeks. But it’s great for the game — the rivalry we have with the Jets ‘€¦ it’s unbelievable. I see little young children running around here coming up and telling me how they feel about the Jets. That’s awesome. We’re getting them ingrained at a young age.
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Robert Kraft: ‘I’m not sure I agree with’ Mark Cuban’s assertion NFL is ‘getting hoggy’ at 2:23 pm ET
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Robert Kraft and Roger Goodell. (AP)

Robert Kraft and Roger Goodell (AP)

ORLANDO — Patriots owner Robert Kraft fired back Monday at Mark Cuban‘s assertion that the “greedy” NFL is “10 years away from an implosion.”

Cuban, the owner of the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks, said Sunday that with some of its most recent moves — namely, the Thursday Night Football package, a portion of which will be broadcast on CBS — the NFL is in danger of oversaturating the market.

“I think the NFL is 10 years away from an implosion,” Cuban said Sunday. “I’m just telling you: Pigs get fat, hogs get slaughtered. And they’re getting hoggy.

“Just watch. Pigs get fat, hogs get slaughtered. When you try to take it too far, people turn the other way. I’m just telling you, when you’ve got a good thing and you get greedy, it always, always, always, always, always turns on you. That’s rule No. 1 of business.”

At the league meetings in Florida, Kraft smiled when he was asked Monday about Cuban’s statements.

“Well, he’s a very intelligent man — I can only speak to what I know,” Kraft said of Cuban. “I’ve been privileged to be chair of the broadcast committee. We have pretty lucrative contracts going for another decade. We’ve doubled our income — it’s allowed us to have labor peace. We just did a Thursday night package — the commissioner and I worked very hard on it. We had every media company work very hard to get a one-year deal, and the main thing they had to do was promote Thursday Night Football.

“We chose CBS because they’re the No. 1 network with the most eyeballs. And that should hopefully allow us to double our ratings on the NFL Network. I think it was slightly less than a five, and we hope to be over 10. They’ll be moving the ‘Big Bang Theory’ from Thursday night, which is the No. 1 show on TV to Monday night at 8 o’clock so they won’t go against Monday Night Football again. And they’ll move it back after our half-season package with them is over. I have great respect for Mr. Cuban, but I’m not sure I agree with his conclusion.

“We’re pretty proud that every game played in the NFL is on free TV in the home market. Except for our Monday night cable package, every game is on over the air TV. Our ratings have gone up dramatically — just look at the Super Bowl. It was the most-watched program in the history of TV. Thirty-four of the 35 top prime-time programs in 2013 were NFL games,” he added. “If we have a problem, I hope it continues the way it was this past year.”

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