At the owner’s meetings in Atlanta on Tuesday, Robert Kraft expressed an optimistic tone when it came to Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski.
Speaking with reporters, the Patriots’ owner said he’s been in communication with Brady, and said he believes the quarterback is “very excited” about the upcoming season, despite the fact that he hasn’t been present in Foxborough to this point of the offseason workouts.
“These are voluntary workouts,” Kraft said. “He’s in great shape. I think he’s at an age … I was thinking back to when he joined us. He’s blessed to have three children now. He’s built a number of businesses and has certain responsibilities. I think it’s very hard for him to fulfill those during the season.
“I can only say this: I know he’s very excited about being at (mandatory) minicamp and having a very special season this year.”
Asked about the relationship between Brady and Bill Belichick, Kraft said from his point of view, “nothing has changed.”
“Everything is good, and I think (Brady is) very excited about coming back,” he added. “And I know we’re excited to have him. We look forward to a great football season.”
Kraft said the fact that Brady and Gronkowski are away gives others an opportunity for more work, which is a good thing.
“We’re in the business of quality depth management. Other players are able to get reps that they wouldn’t get,” he said. “During the course of the season, a number of things happen where you can’t plan and it’s good to have as much preparation as you can.”
As for Gronkowski, Kraft seemed confident the tight end will also be in attendance for the mandatory minicamp workouts next month.
“I’m pretty sure he’ll be there as well,” he said. “We all love Gronk.”
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