Patriots

Robert, Jonathan Kraft talk Tom Brady's contract, future of Patriots' power trio

Robert, Jonathan Kraft talk Tom Brady's contract, future of Patriots' power trio

As the New England Patriots' dynasty approaches two decades, its architects have no intention of relinquishing power.

Patriots owner Robert Kraft and his son, team president Jonathan Kraft, joined Boston Sports Tonight from Radio Row in Atlanta on Tuesday night to discuss the future of their franchise entering Super Bowl LIII.

Right off the bat, both father and son assured the "power trio" of the Krafts, head coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady will be back next season.

"I'll promise you, ownership is sticking around," Robert said.

"And I think you'll see our quarterback and coach there, so that's the answer," Jonathan chimed in.

Jonathan left room for interpretation in early January when asked about Brady's contract, which expires after the 2019 season. This time around, he suggested the discussion be tabled until at least after Sunday.

"We're still in the season before, so he's not in the final year of his deal," Jonathan said of Brady. "That's really the answer to that, and let's see what happens when training camp starts."

But lest you think the Krafts are ambivalent about keeping Brady around, Robert offered another assurance.

"I think we've done an OK job keeping things together. We're blessed to have the GOATs at each of their positions, and our intent would be that they keep doing it."

As for the reports of friction between the Krafts, Belichick and Brady that cropped up frequently during the 2017 season? Robert didn't pretend it's been smooth sailing since that first Super Bowl XXXVI win over the Rams in 2002, but he seems to believe those reports were overblown.

"We have something pretty special," Robert said. "It's got to get refreshed in certain ways because you've got to stay relevant, but I think we're all mature. We've gone through adolescence and we've done something that I don't think any other organization has done, both in terms of performance but also in the sense of continuity.

"And we all like each other, regardless of what some of your friends in the media say of what's going on. You have daily jobs, but let's hope it keeps going for a while."

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.

Tom E. Curran's Patriots Talk Podcast: Dissecting the offense with the addition of Antonio Brown

Tom E. Curran's Patriots Talk Podcast: Dissecting the offense with the addition of Antonio Brown

1:36 - Tom Curran starts off by asking a simple question: 'What keeps Antonio Brown on this team?' As of now, it's the fact that he's valuable enough on the gridiron, but when will that not be enough?

7:09 - Matt Cassel joins Tom to talk about a variety of topics: Antonio Brown's explosiveness making the Patriots offense look like that of the 2007 team; (14:38) How the offense attacks man vs. zone coverage; (21:41) How to approach Greg Williams' defense next week against the Jets; (27:25) and a pair of Hall of Fame debates.

32:26 - Tom catches up with Kyle Van Noy after his season debut in Miami, talking about the linebacker's newborn son, the dominance of the Patriots defense and how Josh Gordon is getting more comfortable in New England.

LISTEN HERE AND SUBSCRIBE:

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.

Bill Belichick praises Joe Thuney's versatility amid Patriots' o-line injuries

Bill Belichick praises Joe Thuney's versatility amid Patriots' o-line injuries

New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick has found several quality offensive lineman in the middle to late rounds of the NFL Draft, and Joe Thuney is one of the best examples.

Thuney has established himself as a key member of the Patriots o-line as the starting left guard for all of his three seasons in New England. The 2016 third-round pick was one of the Patriots' most important players in their Super Bowl LIII victory, where he helped slow down elite Los Angeles Rams pass rusher Aaron Donald.

You cannot explain Thuney's true value without mentioning his versatility. The North Carolina State product is able to play just about every position along the offensive line, and with the Patriots losing both starting tackles to injuries over the last two weeks, Thuney's versatility has become a huge asset for Belichick.

"Very valuable. Somebody has to have versatility on that group," Belichick told reporters Tuesday. "If you take seven linemen to the game, you can't have a backup for every position, so somebody has to move. Either one of your starters has to move or your two backups have to cover all five spots in some combination of that. We need somebody that can do that and Joe's our most versatile lineman on the team, so that is an important role for us to have in terms of maintaining our depth with the group."

The latest blow to the Patriots offensive line came Tuesday, when starting left tackle Isaiah Wynn was placed on injured reserve with a foot injury. He isn't eligible to return for eight weeks. New England also lost starting right tackle Marcus Cannon to a shoulder injury in Week 1, and he missed Sunday's win over the Miami Dolphins.

The Patriots signed free agent offensive linemen Marshall Newhouse and Caleb Benenoch over the last two weeks to bolster their depth, and both of them are options at the tackles spots.

Left tackle is one of the most important positions on the field. This player protects quarterback Tom Brady's blind side and regularly goes up against the league's best pass rushers. Thuney's familiarity with the offense and overall skill set make him a logical fit at left tackle while Wynn is out, and the Patriots could always shift guys around once Newhouse and Benenoch are more comfortable with the playbook.

Replacing a player like Wynn is going to be difficult for the Patriots, but it's nice to have lineman such as Thuney who can fill in at several spots and perform at a high level playing out of position. He's one of the most valuable Patriots players not named Tom Brady.

Could Chiefs emerge as trade suitor for star CB Jalen Ramsey?>>>

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.