New England Patriots team owner Robert Kraft, in several instances, has talked about the impending free agency of veteran quarterback Tom Brady. In his interview with Peter King of NBC Sports following the Patriots’ 20-13 loss to the Tennessee Titans, Kraft said he’s hoping and praying that Brady would return to the team, or if not, he would hang up his jersey and retire after a 20-year career in New England. In an interview with TMZ Sports, Kraft replied “we plan to” when asked if the Patriots would keep the 42-year-old Brady.

During the NFL Awards, Kraft was also confronted with the question about Brady’s future, and his answer was “You gotta ask him. I sure hope so.” On Sunday, Kraft was again asked during the Elton John’s AIDS Foundation Academy Awards viewing party in Hollywood about Brady’s future in New England, he provided reporters with the same answer. “You know what I want,” Kraft said, per Juliet Pennington of the Boston Globe.

Earlier, it was reported that the Patriots are willing to offer Brady a contract in excess of $30 million per season just to convince him to stay, per Ian Rapoport of NFL Media.

Mike Giardi, Rapoport’s colleague at NFL Media, however reported that Brady is not asking for a $30 million salary but he wants the Patriots to improve the team’s offense by signing good players from the free agent pool. It was also reported that Kraft and head coach Bill Belichick are on the same page about keeping Brady as their starting quarterback next season.

Kraft wants Brady to look around before making decision

Rapoport, in his latest report, said Kraft and the Patriots want Brady to test the free-agent market when he turns unrestricted free agent on March 18. According to Rapoport, Kraft believes that Brady should see what’s out there before deciding on his future. If Brady decides that the Patriots would best fit him and Belichick sees that his long-time quarterback is his best option at signal-caller, then “it’s basically meant to be and it’s the best thing for all sides.” Rapoport added that Kraft also wants both sides to be happy after going through the free-agent process.

In his most recent interview with Jim Gray on Westwood One Radio, Brady said he would be open minded to the free-agency process and embrace whatever the future brings.

Slater endorses Joe Judge successor

If Patriots special teams captain Matthew Slater would have his way, he will choose special teams assistant Cameron Achord as their new special teams coordinator, replacing Joe Judge, who was hired by the New York Giants as their head coach. In an interview with Jeff Howe of The Athletic, Slater called Achord as a bright young coach who relates well to the players. “I’m really confident in Cam,” said Slater, adding that the players respect Achord.

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