Patriots

Patriots' Robert Kraft bullish on 2020 NFL season happening this fall

Patriots' Robert Kraft bullish on 2020 NFL season happening this fall

Robert Kraft considers the NFL glass half full.

The New England Patriots owner said Tuesday night on FOX News his team is operating under the assumption that the 2020 NFL season will start on time despite the coronavirus pandemic.

"We're preparing to hopefully play football this fall,” Kraft told host Sean Hannity. "We’re working hand-in-hand with our union. We believe we’re developing protocols that allow us to do it in a safe way looking out first for our players and our personnel and then, of course, the fans.

"I believe we can do it."

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While several NFL teams re-opened their facilities last week, Gillette Stadium remains closed, as the Patriots still are holding meetings and workouts virtually.

New England would have already held organized team activities earlier this month and would hold minicamp in June under normal circumstances, but the team has been forced to adapt.

Still, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell is planning for the 2020 NFL season to start on time; the league released its full schedule last month, with the Patriots' first preseason game set for Aug. 13 and 2020 season opener set for Sept. 13.

So, while there still are several unknowns -- Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said recently that "the virus will decide" whether there's a 2020 season -- Kraft and the league's power brokers are taking a "green light" approach until they hear otherwise.

The players, meanwhile, are being a bit more cautious: NFL Players Association president and Cleveland Browns offensive lineman J.C. Tretter tweeted Tuesday that the players have not yet agreed to a plan to play in 2020.

NFL players rip league's postgame jersey swap policy for next season

NFL players rip league's postgame jersey swap policy for next season

A tradition that became popular in international soccer has become a staple of NFL postgames in recent years, but it might not be allowed during the 2020 season.

Swapping jerseys with an opponent is now commonplace in North American professional sports leagues. We often see younger players swap jerseys with veterans who they grew up watching. Former New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is a sought-after player for the postgame jersey swap. Multiple players from the Washington Redskins asked for his No. 12 jersey after a Week 5 game last season.

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Well, unfortunately for NFL players, swapping jerseys could be banned in the upcoming season as the league tries to implement social distancing measures amid the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the NFL and NFLPA have not yet agreed on all of the medical protocols for gamedays. NFL Media's Tom Pelissero reported the latest information Thursday:

Players were not pleased with this development, to say the least.

One of the most outspoken players was San Francisco 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman, who tweeted the following message. It earned a retweet from Patriots running back James White, among other players.

Many other players were not afraid to share their displeasure with the jersey swap potentially being banned. Here are some of those reactions:

With opposition so strong and coming from several of the league's stars, it'll be interesting to see if the league eventually eases up and allows jersey swaps to happen as normal next season.

WATCH: Cam Newton, N'Keal Harry meet for first workout as Patriots teammates

WATCH: Cam Newton, N'Keal Harry meet for first workout as Patriots teammates

Cam Newton is wasting no time getting to know his New England Patriots wide receivers.

The new Patriots quarterback, who officially signed a one-year contract with the team Wednesday, linked up with wideout Mohamed Sanu last week for a few throwing sessions in Los Angeles.

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This Wednesday, it was N'Keal Harry's turn to catch passes from Newton, according to Boston.com, which obtained video of the duo's L.A. workout from EBA Sports.

The video shows Newton meeting Harry for the first time as a member of the Patriots before throwing the second-year receiver a handful of passes.

Newton and Harry worked out together for about two hours and were later joined by Cleveland Browns star wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr., per Boston.com.

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Harry has been working hard this offseason to improve his game after a disappointing rookie campaign. The Patriots' 2019 first-round pick appeared in just seven games last season due to a nagging ankle injury, catching 12 passes on 24 targets for 105 yards and two touchdowns.

It's encouraging to see the 22-year-old on the practice field with Newton, who's aiming to bounce back from his own foot injury that limited him to two games in 2019.

Newton will have to beat out second-year QB Jarrett Stidham for the starting job, and it appears he's eager to get started while developing chemistry with his new pass-catchers.