Patriots owner Robert Kraft minced no words today when he was asked about the importance of reaching an agreement with the players on a new collective bargaining agreement.
"I think it would be criminal if a deal isn’t done," Kraft said. "Look, I’m involved in a lot of businesses. This business is very healthy. People in America sponsor us, everything is healthy. There's a deal to be done here, and it can set the business right for the next 15 years. If we don't do it, it's criminal."
If no new agreement is reached by March 3, owners are expected to impose a lockout beginning the next day. But Kraft thinks having a deadline a month from now will help. And he doesn't think it needs to take even that long to reach an agreement.
"We could get a deal done in a week," Kraft said. "When you’re doing things like this, you need deadlines. March 4 is the the deadline. The ingredients are there for a deal. We’ve just got to get business people on both sides that know how to do business."
Kraft said the NFL is in a unique business position to get a deal done.
"We can grow this business in a way that everyone makes out," he said. "We have a public that wants the product. Most business today, you have to figure how to cut your costs to survive. That isn’t the case here. We will have all failed if we don’t find a way to get this deal done."