Kraft: NFL labor deal 'is possible'


Kraft: NFL labor deal 'is possible'

Patriots owner Robert Kraft says he "personally believes it's possible" for the NFL owners and players to reach agreement on a new labor agreement before Friday's deadline, and that he's prepared to leave Israel -- where he's on a trade mission in a group with Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick -- if an agreement is close.

"If necessary, I might have to leave early," Kraft told a group of reporters, which included New England Cable News' Alison King, on Monday. A new labor deal, he said, is "a high priority."

"I made a commitment here, so we're going to finish the important things we're doing here," Kraft said. "We're in daily contact by phone. It's unfortunate. We're supposed to be settled by now. That's why we planned this trip for this week."

The collective bargaining agreement was supposed to expire last Friday, but the sides agreed to extend negotiations for a week.

"We're doing everything we can to get a deal consummated," said Kraft. "I personally believe it's possible . . .

"The good news is, it's always good to be talking when you have differences of opinion. It's the only way you have a chance to reach an agreement. So we're talking, and I know from ownership's side that we feel there's a deal to be made and we'd very much like to do it."

Patriots to have joint practices with Jags Aug. 7-8 ahead of preseason opener

Patriots to have joint practices with Jags Aug. 7-8 ahead of preseason opener

For the sixth season in a row, the Patriots will conduct joint practices with an opponent ahead of playing a preseason game. The team announced they'll work out with the Jacksonville Jaguars Aug. 7-8 at Gillette Stadium before playing the Jags in the preseason opener Aug. 10. 

The practices will be free and open to the public and will be held on the practice fields behind the Stadium.

The Patriots had joint practices with the New Orleans Saints and Chicago Bears last summer and previously had them with the Saints in 2015, the Washington Redskins and Philadelphia Eagles in 2014, the Eagles and Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2013 and the Saints and Bucs in 2012.

Patriots coach Bill Belichick has talked about the value of these joint practices, has found it a good way to scout players they might eventually have an interest in and has reportedly been discussing conducting them with another preseason opponent, the Texans (Aug. 19 at Houston), coached by former Patriots assistant Bill O'Brien.