With the Patriots winning five Lombardi Trophies since 2001 -- and going for a sixth this weekend -- there are plenty of current and former New England players who have gotten their hands on a coveted Super Bowl ring. 

But you don't necessarily have to play for the Pats to get ahold of one of their Super Bowl rings. Team employees and other personnel affiliated with the organization often get the championship jewelry as well. Or, if you're Vladimir Putin, you can just steal a ring straight off the hand of Patriots owner Robert Kraft.

That's what happened in 2005, when Kraft visited Russia with a friend. Fresh off a Super Bowl XXXIX win over the Eagles -- the Pats' third title in four years -- Kraft decided to show off his new ring to Putin. Kraft handed over the ring and the Russian president tried it on. 

He never gave it back.

Robert Kraft is still missing one of his Super Bowl rings after it was taken by Vladimir Putin.

Kraft told the story to NFL Films last year, saying he's still only in possession of three of his four Super Bowl rings. 

It seems unlikely that he's going to get the other one back, and he seems to understand that.

Back in 2013, Kraft offered up some more details, saying that Putin tried the ring on, said "I could kill someone with this" and put the ring in his pocket. Then he just walked away with three KGB security members surrounding him. 

It was something of a power move from Putin, but Kraft didn't give in that easily. He tried to get his ring back because, in addition to its $25,000 price tag, the owner felt there was sentimental value attached to it. He officially gave up when the White House talked him out of the pursuit.

"It would really be in the best interest of US-Soviet relations if you meant to give the ring as a present," Kraft said he was told on the White House call in 2005. "I really didn't [want to]. I had an emotional tie to the ring, it has my name on it. I don't want to see it on eBay. There was a pause on the other end of the line, and the voice repeated, 'It would really be in the best interest if you meant to give the ring as a present.'"

Shortly thereafter, Kraft put out a statement, saying "I decided to give him the ring as a symbol of the respect and admiration that I have for the Russian people and the leadership of President Putin."

In reality, it was more of a retroactive peace offering than it was a "gift," but the important thing is Kraft decided to swallow his pride and avoid an international relations disaster with the leader of Russia. And that's how Putin claimed himself a Super Bowl ring. 

With the Patriots and Eagles set for a Super Bowl rematch this Sunday in Minneapolis, Kraft has an opportunity to replace the ring that was heisted from him after the first one back in 2005. If the Pats come away with the victory, he should probably avoid visiting Russia for a while.