Robert Kraft Blames Calvin Ridley's Girlfriend for Spurning Patriots

Owner Robert Kraft has made his first public comments since free agency kicked off.
Jan 17, 2024; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft addresses media at a
Jan 17, 2024; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft addresses media at a / Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports

The New England Patriots entered the offseason with clear needs on the offensive side. When free agency kicked off, they circled WR Calvin Ridley as one of their main targets. They believed he could be their No. 1 option and felt confident in their pursuit of him.

Unfortunately for New England, Ridley had other plans. The former Alabama standout notched a four-year, $92 million deal that includes $50 million guaranteed from the Tennessee Titans.

With owners' meetings happening down in Orlando this week, Robert Kraft spoke to reporters about the failed pursuit of Ridley.

Patriots News: Calvin Ridley's Girlfriend Had Influence on His Free-Agent Destination

Kraft said, "It was made clear his girlfriend wanted to be in the south. … He didn’t want to be in the northeast." He also added that New England's QB situation played a role in Ridley spurring the Pats.

There were fans who thought New England was being cheap in their attempts of locking down Ridley but that wasn't the case. The 29-year-old is from Florida and went to college in Alabama. Since entering the league, he's played in Atlanta and Jacksonville, so he's used to being in the south. And so is his girlfriend.

New England's dire need for a franchise quarterback didn't help either. There were a combination of things that made Ridley feel like this wasn't a good fit for him.

With free agency cooling down, New England needs to ace their remaining moves to improve their odds for the 2024 season. According to FanDuel Sportsbook, the Patriots are +1700 underdogs to win the AFC East. If you want to take lock-in of these odds, head over to FanDuel Sportsbook and claim your sign-up bonus.

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