- Mike Rodak, ESPN Staff Writer
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FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Leftover comments from Patriots owner Robert Kraft, who spoke to reporters on Thursday at a community event at Gillette Stadium.
The event included a team football helmet-building activity with eight children from Camp Sunshine and their families. They were joined by Patriots linebacker Jerod Mayo and offensive tackle Nate Solder. Mayo had just completed a workout, and said he is typically at the team's facility from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the offseason, although the team's official offseason program doesn't begin until April 16.
Kraft on Camp Sunshine: "Camp Sunshine. We have sunshine out here today. Seeing these young people here, what a great job. I'm very proud of Nate and Jerod for coming out here and supporting this. I happened to be over at Dean College last night, and spoke to some young people. Seeing some young men like [2011 Patriots Community MVP Runner-Up] Joey Cerato doing random acts of kindness, we need more of that in America."
General feelings on free agency: "Very busy free agency, and I'd like to think the Patriots have improved themselves this year."
Departure of BenJarvus Green-Ellis: "My one personal loss is [running back] BenJarvus [Green-Ellis]. I really had a deep personal affection for him. He really did a great job with us for four years, especially this past year. He was really supportive of me personally. We became good friends and I'm always going to have a special attachment to him. Except when we play Cincinnati, I'm going to be rooting for him big time."
Broncos' addition of Peyton Manning: "Denver, the question is when will we play them. I know that CBS is happy that he's in the AFC. But we're playing him here, not playing him in Denver, so that's always good. I think it's great for football. We have the rivalry back. Tommy [Brady] and Peyton. I still think we have the best quarterback in football, so I like our position."
Jets' addition of Tim Tebow: "I personally like Tim Tebow a lot. I love that he's into spirituality. It's something that I and my family feel strongly about. He's a great young man and I have great affection for him as well."
Saints' punishment for bounties: "Well I think only the President of the United States has a tougher job than the commissioner of the NFL. I think that [Roger Goodell] had unique knowledge that none of us had. His job is to protect the shield and look at the long-term best interests of the game. I think that's what he did there. What I like about it is I know that he's looking out for what's best for the game long-term, and the health and welfare of the players. I know my grandson is playing Pop Warner and another grandson plays high school football and it's good that they know that their role models have certain standards. All of us in society have to conduct ourselves a certain way, and I think he having the knowledge he had, he sent a strong message, and I have confidence in his judgment, and whatever he decides is in the best interest of the game."
On if duration of Saints' bounty program is disturbing. "Well, I probably should comment only on things I know something about. I know that we're privileged to have a ten-year labor agreement and extend our media deals for 11 years. America loves this game, and I think we have to be sure for the best long-term interests of the game of football. I have a lot of confidence that Roger Goodell is doing that all the time."