Pats' Kraft hopes 'real deal' Tebow makes team
Patriots owner Robert Kraft said Friday he hopes recently signed quarterback Tim Tebow can ultimately earn a roster spot after New England cuts down to 53 players for the start of the season.
"We want high-quality people who work hard, are team players," Kraft said Friday in New York, where he was a guest on CNBC's "Summer on the Street" program. "I don't think there is a nicer person that I've ever met, and now he'll get to compete with all the other people at the position, and our hope is that he's on our 53-man roster."
Kraft envisions Tebow as providing quality depth at a position where the Patriots have carried only two players in recent seasons.
"I think Tom Brady, we're privileged to have the best quarterback in the history of the game," Kraft said. "But we're a physical game. Injuries happen. We have another very good quarterback in Ryan Mallett.
"We're allowed three quarterbacks. We're in the business of quality depth management. We have a salary cap and we need a number of different competitive players for depth. You never know what's going [to happen]; Tom Brady missed the whole season a few years ago. You can't have enough quality people in any of your businesses."
Kraft was in New York to receive Carnegie Hall's sixth Medal of Excellence for outstanding philanthropic leadership. Brady, Patriots defensive tackle Vince Wilfork and linebacker Jerod Mayo joined him at the event, along with Kraft's close friend Elton John.
Kraft elaborated on how Tebow's spirituality appeals to him. It wasn't the reason the team signed Tebow, but it is something Kraft also mentioned to reporters on Wednesday.
"I don't get why people wouldn't relate to this guy big-time," Kraft said Friday. "For us, it was a great opportunity that he was on the street, not hired, and to have him come to our franchise. We like to collect people of good character. He's the real deal, and we have a lot of other players [like that]."
Kraft also said Tebow sets a good example in an increasingly "isolating" modern world.
"In this age of technology, where people are isolating themselves and going to their little instruments and spending hours of not interfacing with people, people who respect tradition, religion, spirituality, I think we need more of that in America today," Kraft said.
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