FOXBORO — Remember when Patriots owner Robert Kraft said the “girlfriend” of Calvin Ridley was a key factor in why the star wideout signed with the Tennessee Titans rather than New England this offseason?

“It was not because of finance,” Kraft told reporters during the annual league meetings. “Clearly, his girlfriend wanted to be in the South.”

Patriots de facto general manager Eliot Wolf doesn’t seem to view it the same way. During a pre-draft press conference at Gillette Stadium on Thursday, Wolf’s first availability since the NFL Scouting Combine before free agency, Wolf offered a more straightforward explanation.

“Another team offered more money, would be the main thing,” Wolf said.

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The Titans signed Ridley to a four-year deal worth $92 million for an average annual value of $23 million. The Patriots reportedly offered Ridley $22 million AAV, though Ridley benefited from the tax differences in Tennessee. Kraft pointed to that, as well, but said the Patriots were willing to supplement it in their offer.

“We had a situation where the taxes were like almost 10% higher — we were willing to keep going on the premium. But he didn’t want to be in the Northeast,” Kraft said March 26.

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Ridley was thought to be a perfect addition for the Patriots given New England’s perceived need at receiver. The Patriots have since turned to the trade market, and have made calls in an effort to acquire a wideout via trade, Wolf confirmed. Wolf said it remains an avenue the Patriots will pursue, but expressed his confidence in those currently on the roster.

“We certainly have good receivers that we’re excited about working with,” Wolf said. “K.J. Osborn can play all three positions. We have Kendrick Bourne coming back, Pop (Demario Douglas), JuJu (Smith-Schuster), the list goes on. We feel like we have NFL receivers.”

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The Patriots also could add a receiver in the 2024 NFL Draft starting April 25. New England holds the third overall pick, along with high selections in both the second (No. 34) and third round (No.68), where they might be able to select a contributor.

Featured image via Denny Simmons / The Tennessean via USA TODAY NETWORK Images