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There's certainly no love loss between the Patriots and the Colts, but on Monday, Colts center Jeff Saturday had nothing but love for Patriots owner Robert Kraft and his wife, Myra, after an agreement was made between the owners and the players on a new CBA.
"Special thanks to Myra Kraft, who even in her weakest movement, allowed Mr. Kraft to come and fight this out and without him this deal foes not get done," Saturday said. "He is a man who helped us save football, and we're so gracious for that. We're gracious for his family and for the opportunity he presented to get this deal done."
Kraft was such an important factor in the labor negotiations that he was personally invited to attend the events in Washington to celebrate the end of the lockout. He was, in a sense, the mediator between the two sides -- the voice of reason during a time when it seemed that reason was hard to come by.
Kraft is not just an owner, but a fan of the game -- and he had a message to all the other NFL fans out there.
"On behalf of both sides, I'd like to to apologize to the fans that for the last five, six months we've been talking about the business of football and not what's goes on on the field and building the teams in each market," Kraft said. "But the end result is we've been able to have an agreement that I think is going to allow this sport to flourish over the next decade."
The Patriots announced three roster moves on Monday night. Two resulted in players parting ways with the team. The other opened a roster spot without a departure.
In addition to releasing both defensive tackle Terrance Knighton and center Bryan Stork, the Patriots also placed guard Tre' Jackson on the reserve/physically unable to perform list.
Jackson began training camp on PUP, and he has not practiced with the team since camp kicked off. Now that he is on the reserve/PUP, the second-year player out of Florida State will be forced to miss the first six weeks of the regular season, but he will not count against the active roster during that period.
Jackson, a fourth-round pick last year, played through knee issues at times as a rookie, seeing action in 13 games and starting in nine. He has been spotted on the practice fields this summer, but he has been limited to warm-ups and conditioning work.
In his absence, the Patriots still have depth at guard, which may have had something to do with the team's willingness to make Jackson unavailable for almost the first half of the season. Rookie Joe Thuney looks like he will be the starter at left guard, while Josh Kline could be the option at right guard to start the season. Jonathan Cooper and Shaq Mason are dealing with injuries at the moment, but they both returned to the practice field on Monday, and they also have a shot at the right guard job. Rookie sixth-rounder Ted Karras could also factor in as a reserve at either guard or center if he makes the club.
The Patriots currently have 80 players on the active roster and need to reduce that number to 75 by 4 p.m. on Tuesday.
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