Bill Belichick's end-of-year press conference raised a few eyebrows when the Patriots head coach highlighted his team's spending throughout the post-Tom Brady era. Over this stretch where New England has missed out on the playoffs in two of the last three seasons and is a middling 25-25, the team, as Belichick notes, hasn't been spending big on the roster.
"Our spending in 2020, our spending in 2021, and our spending in 2022 -- the aggregate of that -- was we were 27th in the league in cash spending," Belichick said at the time, via Boston.com. "Couple years we're low, one year was high, but over a three-year period, we are one of the lowest spending teams in the league."
Some perceived that comment by Belichick as a not-so-veiled shot at owner Robert Kraft. However, Boston Sports Journal's Greg Bedard recently asked Kraft about the team's spending and he made it clear that money is no object to get a winning team back in Foxborough.
"So I asked Robert about Bill Belichick's comments, about how they're one of the lowest cash-spending teams in the league," Bedard said on NBC Sports Boston's Early Edition. "And a lot of fans took that as a little bit of a shot at ownership, that the Krafts aren't willing to spend for this team. And I asked Robert about that, and I just want to quote him accurately. He says, 'He [Belichick] has never come to me and not gotten everything he wanted from a cash-spending perspective. We have never set limits.' And he further went on to say, 'Money spending will never be the issue, I promise you, or I'll sell the team.' So that's pretty definitive."
Judging by those comments, it does seem like there may be an inconsistent view of how Belichick and Kraft see the team's spending. Belichick's comment implies that the team needs to spend more, while Kraft told Bedard that he is more than willing to spend to turn the franchise back into a yearly contender.
However, that hasn't taken the club out of the running for talent across the league as of late. This offseason, they added wideout JuJu Smith-Schuster and tight end Mike Gesicki, while recently extending receiver DeVante Parker and linebacker Ja'Whaun Bentley. The team is also in pursuit of free-agent pass catcher DeAndre Hopkins. Still, they haven't needed to extend themselves financially in recent years, particularly at the quarterback position with Mac Jones on his rookie contract.
Kraft has also said this offseason that he is optimistic about New England's chances this coming season. However, if the club continues to struggle in the AFC, it'll be interesting to see how Kraft will react from a financial standpoint.