Kraft would rather give to charity than invest in European soccer

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Kraft would rather give to charity than invest in European soccer

Don't worry, Patriots fans. Robert Kraft isn't going to pull a Fenway Sports Group on you any time soon.

Speaking with CNN International from Wimbledon, the Patriots owner said he would rather make a donation to charity than invest millions of dollars in a top European soccer club.

Kraft said he likes all his businesses to stand on their own, and some of the top soccer clubs in the world haven't been able to do that. With exorbitant player salaries and profits that can't keep up, many teams are losing money.

Manchester City, which won the English Premier League, has run up huge losses -- 300 million for the last financial year (the highest figure in English football history) -- to assemble a championship team.

"Manchester City won the championship this year and I hear they're going to lose 156 million," Kraft said. "I would rather give that money to charity if I had it. I want every business to stand on its own."

Kraft could have bought a stake in Liverpool, which was ultimately purchased in 2010 by Red Sox owner John Henry.

Here's more of what Kraft told CNN:
I would only do it, if there was a salary cap. It's the same thing I said three years ago.We could have bought Liverpool before the two ownership groups who preceded us and in the end I don't want to compete in a business where people throw money at something.I want to be able to compete. The fans in Liverpool are awesome and they are expecting to win every year, and if you are competing with people who have different rules then it makes it difficult.We have the resources to do it, it's just I choose not to do it . . . I don't want to be in a business that does not stand on its own, I want every business to stand on its own, and for ego reasons I'm not willing to lose that kind of money.The only way I would go into a sports business is to win. And, I don't think I can compete on an equal footing so I choose not to do it.

Of course, Kraft already owns a soccer team: the New England Revolution. As the team has struggled in recent seasons, local MLS fans have criticized him for not wanting to invest in that team, either.

Sanu on Patriots' Super Bowl comeback: Lady Gaga's long halftime hurt Falcons

Sanu on Patriots' Super Bowl comeback: Lady Gaga's long halftime hurt Falcons

Three weeks removed from his team blowing a 25-point, second-half lead in the Super Bowl, Mohamed Sanu offered a possible explanation for the Atlanta Falcons losing their edge against the Patriots.

Lady Gaga.

More specifically, it was the half-hour-plus halftime show that interrupted the Falcons' rhythm, the receiver said Friday on the NFL Network's "Good Morning Football."

“Usually, halftime is only like 15 minutes, and when you’re not on the field for like an hour, it’s just like going to work out, like a great workout, and you go sit on the couch for an hour and then try to start working out again,” Sanu said.

Sanu was asked if the delay was something you can simulate in practice. 

"It's really the energy [you can't duplicate]," he said. "I don't know if you can simulate something like that. That was my first time experiencing something like that."

Patriots coach Bill Belichick did simulate it. In his Super Bowl practices, he had his team take long breaks in the middle.

Sanu also addressed the Falcons' pass-first play-calling that didn't eat up clock while the Patriots came back.

"The thought [that they weren't running the ball more] crossed your mind, but as a player, you're going to do what the coach [Dan Quinn] wants you to do." Sanu said. "He's called plays like that all the time."


 

It's official: Patriots nab third-round compensatory pick in Collins trade

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It's official: Patriots nab third-round compensatory pick in Collins trade

The Patriots received a conditional fourth-round pick in 2018 from the Browns in return for Jamie Collins. That's how the trade was described on the league's transaction wire. 

The "condition" of that fourth-rounder? Well, if the Browns received a third-round compensatory pick in 2017, the Patriots would nab that pick instead. 

On Friday, the NFL announced that the Browns had in fact been awarded a third-round compensatory pick, which meant that almost three full weeks after Super Bowl LI, everything was still coming up Patriots.

In actuality, the odds were pretty good all along that the Patriots would get what they got

Cleveland lost Pro Bowl center Alex Mack in free agency last offseason when he opted to sign with the Falcons. Because compensatory picks are based on free agents lost and free agents acquired, and because the Browns did not sign any similarly-impactful free agents, there was a good chance Mack's departure would render a third-round comp pick that would be shipped to New England.

Had Mack suffered a significant injury that forced his play to drop off or limited his time on the field, a third-rounder may have been out of the question, but he played well (named a Pro Bowler and a Second Team All-Pro) and stayed healthy -- lucky for the Patriots -- missing just 17 total snaps in the regular season. 

The Browns comp pick that will be sent to New England is No. 103 overall. The Patriots were also awarded a fifth-round comp pick, No. 185 overall. That was a result of the league weighing the departures of Akiem Hicks and Tavon Wilson against the arrival of Shea McClellin.

The Patriots now have nine selections in this year's draft: One first-rounder; one second-rounder; two third-rounders; one fourth-rounder*; two fifth-rounders; two seventh-rounders.

The third-round compensatory pick acquired by the Patriots carries additional value this year in that it is the first year in which compensatory picks can be traded. A near top-100 overall selection may allow the Patriots to move up the draft board or build assets in the middle rounds should they be inclined to deal. And we know they oftentimes are. 

* The Patriots forfeited their highest fourth-round selection in this year's draft as part of their Deflategate punishment. They acquired a fourth-round pick from the Seahawks last year. Because that would have been the higher of their two selections, that's the one they'll lose. They will make their own fourth-round pick at No. 137 overall.