AFC Notes: Bill Belichick, Sauce Gardner, Bills, Jets, Patriots



Jets CB Sauce Gardner believes his second year in the NFL was better than his first.

I would say this year,” Gardner said, via PFT. “I feel like I wasn’t targeted as much. That’s respect that the offensive coordinators, coaches, quarterbacks have for me. I feel like I learned way more after my rookie season, so I went into Year Two knowing more so I was more confident each and every game.”


When asked about the Patriots spending less on players over the last decade, owner Robert Kraft said former HC Bill Belichick having a strong understanding of player value influenced their decisions. 

“I know there’s a perception that we have held back on spending,” Kraft said, via Phil Perry of NBC Sports. “Let me just say, for our fans, that’s just not true. Look, we were blessed to have a coach in our system who was a great coach and also understood value. He ran a tight ship.”

Kraft reiterated how Belichick “understood value” of players and that they never “held back” on signing players. 

“They say we’ve been low spenders in the last 10 years, and that might be true,” Kraft said. “But we had a pretty good record. And we won three Super Bowls. But our coaches have always had the ability to spend at whatever level they wanted. I think Bill was always thinking about the future and really understood value. But we never held back with any of the coaches we’ve had over the last 30 years. They’ve been able to get whatever they want. If cash spending became an issue for our family, and we couldn’t do it, then I would sell the team. Winning football games, after my family, is the most important thing in my life. Whatever we can do to help make that happen, we’re going to do.”

As for HC Jerod Mayo and director of scouting Eliot Wolf being first-year leaders in their positions, Kraft expressed confidence in the two and pointed out they are taking a collaborative approach together. 

“I feel a sense of excitement and great opportunity to hopefully position the team to be special,” Kraft said. “I’ve said this to our team, who I’m very proud of that they’re working together in a collaborative basis working hard and reaching out in a lot of areas, this is the first time in 31 years of ownership that we’re drafting at the position that we are, and have a chance to get some great players, and also have the cap room that we’ve carried over. So I hope it positions us for the next few years beautifully. I’ve said that to the team. It’s pretty exciting. Now we’ve got to measure nine times and cut once.”

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