Patriots owner Robert Kraft says he believes football will be played this fall.
“I believe we can do it,” Kraft told host Sean Hannity in a brief segment Tuesday evening on Fox News.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has said the league intends on starting the regular season on time, while keeping concerns amid the coronavirus pandemic at top of his mind.
“We’re preparing to hopefully play football this fall,” Kraft said. “We’re working hand in hand with our union. We believe we’re developing protocols that will allow us in a safe way, looking out first for our players and our personnel and then, of course, the fans.”
The Patriots would normally be holding organized team activities in May, with minicamp to follow in June. Instead, the team has been conducting its offseason activities remotely as a result of the virus.
Last week, a number of clubs began reopening their facilities under the rules laid out by the league. Gillette Stadium remains closed.
With the league shut down, Kraft has been active in coronavirus relief efforts. The 78-year-old billionaire recently auctioned off his Super Bowl LI ring for more than $1 million as part of the “All In Challenge.” Kraft said Tuesday the highest bid was a Patriots fan who wishes to remain anonymous.
Hannity also asked Kraft about the departure of quarterback Tom Brady, who left New England for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during free agency.
“I’m privileged to have the greatest quarterback in the history of the league, in the first 100 years, and the greatest coach,” Kraft said. “It’s been a great joy to have this partnership for 20 years we were able to keep them together.”
In March, the Kraft family and the Patriots took out a full-page ad in the Tampa Bay Times to thank Brady for his contributions to the franchise over the past two decades.