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."