Patriots owner Robert Kraft says that when a franchise gets to the top, the way to stay on top isn’t to stay loyal to aging veterans. It’s to replace those veterans with young players.
“The only way you’re going to survive in this business is to replenish your team with younger players each year,” Kraft tells Ian R. Rapoport of the Boston Herald. “Hopefully, it’s not done in a shock atmosphere. I think we have done a good job in accumulating picks. We’ve lost some great players, and that’s the reason we were so good. But nothing goes forever in this business.”
Kraft says he has complete faith in coach Bill Belichick’s decision making when it comes to replacing aging veterans, including linebacker Adalius Thomas, defensive end Jarvis Green and tight end Benjamin Watson this offseason.
“It’s a business where you always got to keep looking to the future if you want to win,” Kraft said. “And you try to balance that with being responsible to the people who have produced for you big time. It’s hard. But we have the best coach in the NFL and our personnel department is top drawer.”
Kraft added that there’s a danger in getting “too sentimental” about certain players. As talk continues of a gulf between the Patriots and Tom Brady, it’s worth keeping in mind that Kraft believes teams should build for the future, not reward players for the past.