PHOENIX -- Patriots owner Robert Kraft is doubling down on the notion that the NFL will have two teams in Los Angeles within the next year.
"There might just be one team but I really think, to support the financial commitment of doing the kind of stadium that's neccessary in L.A., you need the resources of two teams," Kraft said. "And then, whether it's done simultaneously or not, personally I think it's the best way, it's in a way what happened in New York/New Jersey. They corrected a situation that'd gone on for many years, I think the Jets felt like maybe they were second-class."
He mentioned that an expansion team would be incredibly "difficult" and wouldn't be likely.
"I think we have to be very careful and responsible to different markets who really step up and do what they want to do," Kraft said when asked specifically about the possibility of St. Louis losing a franchise. "If they do, I think we have a responsibility to make sure there's a team in that market."
The Patriots' owner said that he feels bad for young children growing up in the Los Angeles area that haven't known a hometown team. He mentioned L.A. being a "showplace" for the league.
"I was sad 20 years ago when I came into the league and the two teams moved out of the L.A. market," he said. "Just a very unfortunate thing and I don't think it's good that we've let a generation of fans grow up there without teams. ... It's not good for the NFL and I really believe within the next year we'll have two teams in this market."
Some other hits from Kraft's session with reporters:
» On expanding playoffs: "I really think it definitely won't happen this year and ... I think it's something that could happen when we go long term with our Thursday Night package and we tie it into that."
» Kraft was asked about the still-pending investigation surrounding deflated footballs in the 2014 AFC title game, and said only that "I know there's no smoking gun here."
"Bill (Belichick) wanted him back but, let me say this, if you work on a budget there are certain things you can't do. We have a budget and, you know, in the end we'll judge it by what the results are. And also, it takes two sides. I think each side in the end did what was right for them."
» Kraft declined to say much about how long Belichick plans on coaching, but did say that he'd like to have the coach as long as he wants to stay. This isn't much of a surprise considering he's the best coach in football, but it is interesting to wonder, at 62, how long he plans on keeping the job.