FOXBOROUGH -- Repeating several times that he considered Rob Gronkowski the NFL’s best tight end, Patriots owner Robert Kraft shed some light on Gronkowski’s recent contract extension on Wednesday.
“We’re trying to always plan ahead for the future, do our strategic planning,’’ Kraft said. “In this age of salary cap, what’s going to happen in the next few years with the cap, you have to have a core group of players that you can plan around as the foundation of your team.’’
The extension was the richest ever for a tight end at six years and $54 million, though a $10 million option must be picked up by Feb. 28, 2016, the final day of the 2015 league year.
“He’s a young player who we feel is the best at his position,’’ Kraft said. “So we decided to step up and do what we thought was in the team’s best long-term interest.’’
Kraft is optimistic about the team’s offseason progress.
“I think our personnel department and Bill have done an outstanding job collecting talent and potential on both sides of the ball,’’ Kraft said. “I’m very excited about this season starting. Can’t wait for football to come back.’’