- Mike Reiss, ESPN Staff Writer
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Patriots owner Robert Kraft was a guest on CNBC's "Summer on the Street" program Friday afternoon, live from New York where he had been presented with Carnegie Hall's sixth Medal of Excellence for outstanding philanthropic leadership (Tom Brady, Vince Wilfork and Jerod Mayo joined him at the event, along with Kraft's close friend Elton John).
Predictably, one of the main topics of discussion in the CNBC interview was the team's signing of quarterback Tim Tebow.
"I don't get why people wouldn't relate to this guy big time," he said. "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 elaborated on his personal feelings that Tebow's spirituality is appealing to him (it wasn't the reason the team signed Tebow), which is something he also mentioned to reporters on Wednesday.
"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," he said.
Earlier in the interview with CNBC, Kraft said: "We want high quality people who work hard, are team players. 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. ...
"... I think Tom Brady, we're privileged to have the best quarterback in the history of the game. 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 enough quality people in any of your businesses."