Top 10 ‘Gronk Being Gronk’ Moments Of Rob Gronkowski’s Patriots Tenure

Rob Gronkowski is back — well, kinda.
Although Gronkowski decided to end his “retirement” after sitting out only one season, he’ll take his talents elsewhere, as the New England Patriots traded the All-Pro tight end to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after he made it clear he only wanted to play alongside Tom Brady.
This might be a tough pill to swallow for Patriots fans — watching Brady and Gronkowski play for a different team — but nothing can take away the memories Gronkowski created during his decade in Foxboro. Just like with Brady’s exit, let’s smile because it happened rather than cry because it’s over.
Gronkowski played nine seasons with the Patriots and carved out an impressive on-field résumé. The gridiron dominance represents just a small part of the Gronk story, though. His charisma made him so much more.
As New England heals from Gronkowski’s departure, NESN.com will relive the 10 best “Gronk being Gronk” moments over the next two weeks. Each day, we’ll look back on one moment — or series of moments — that showcased Gronkowski’s huge personality.
You can find each moment, as the list unfolds, at the links below. So, be sure to bookmark this page and check back often for a hearty dose of Gronk nostalgia.

No. 10: Rob Gronkowski, Family Get Rowdy At 2010 NFL Draft
No. 9: Thursday, April 30
No. 8: Friday, May 1
No. 7: Saturday, May 2
No. 6: Sunday, May 3
No. 5: Monday, May 4
No. 4: Tuesday, May 5
No. 3: Wednesday, May 6
No. 2: Thursday, May 7
No. 1: Friday, May 8

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh Responds To Tom Brady Getting Kicked Out Of Tampa Park

The mayor of Boston wants Tom Brady to know he’d likely still be getting the star treatment if he stayed in New England.
Brady has made his mark on Tampa since joining the Buccaneers in free agency, but not necessarily in a good way. He not only walked into a random person’s house thinking it was his offensive coordinator’s. (He’s not going to be punished by the NFL for that, by the way.) He also got kicked out of a Tampa park for working out. (Of course, that was during the state’s stay-at-home order, which the quarterback quite clearly was violating.)
Boston Mayor Marty Walsh appeared on WEEI’s “The Greg Hill Show” on Wednesday morning and was asked if he would’ve dropped the hammer on the 42-year-old quarterback.
“If Tom Brady stayed … There are some exceptions I would make and having Tom Brady throw a football, I probably maybe would have looked the other way on that one,” Walsh joked, via WEEI.com. “But he goes to Tampa Bay and that’s what he gets, getting thrown out of the park. So it serves him right.”
If it needs to be said, Walsh clearly was joking.
But truthfully, that might be Brady’s new reality to a degree in Florida, where he doesn’t quite carry the cachet he does in New England.
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Bruce Cassidy Recalls Bobby Orr’s Legendary Goal With 50th Anniversary Nearing

Editor’s Note: May 10th will mark the 50th anniversary of Boston Bruins legend Bobby Orr’s iconic, Stanley Cup-clinching goal against the St. Louis Blues in 1970. To this day, Bruins fans are reminded of the goal with a statue of Orr outside TD Garden, and a replica of “The Goal” statue currently is taking place until May 8, with the proceeds going towards coronavirus relief aid (details here). On May 10th, NHL Network will air “The 1970 Bruins: Big Bad & Bobby” a documentary remembering that team. In the lead up to the anniversary, NESN will be remembering that team and Orr’s goal. For more Boston Bruins coverage from NESN, click here. 
When Bobby Orr scored his iconic, Stanley Cup-clinching goal, a then-five-year-old Bruce Cassidy was home in greater Ottawa.
And, truthfully, he doesn’t vividly remember if he watched the goal live or not. But that didn’t preclude him from remembering that renowned moment in Bruins folklore fondly.
Despite where he grew up, Cassidy as a child actually was a fan of the Boston Bruins, who he, of course, now coaches. Prior to the 2019 Stanley Cup Final, with the Bruins and St. Louis Blues set to meet once again, Cassidy reflected on his connection to the 1970 Bruins.
Reminiscing About 2011 Stanley Cup-Winning Team | NESN Bruins Podcast Ep. 60
And with the NHL on pause presently while the 50-year anniversary of the 1970 Cup Final nearing, Cassidy was asked on a conference call April 20 what he remembers of that goal.
“I was gonna turn five, I was ’65 born. So I did not see it — it may have been on television, listen I could have seen it but I don’t recall watching it at that time,” Cassidy said. “As I said before, I kept the newspaper from the Ottawa Journal that was on the front page of the sports section, that famous photo. And I cut it out at the time because I loved the Bruins, stuck it on my wall and I do remember having it on my wall most of my childhood, probably right up until I was a teenager. So that’s was my recollection from then.”
You can’t blame a five-year-old for not quite remembering that moment. Still, it seems clear that goal resonates with him as he tries guiding an era of Bruins that are trying to create the stuff of legends themselves.
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Patriots Fans Will Love Michael Wilbon’s Take On Cam Newton-New England Rumors

There’s reportedly “nothing cooking” between Cam Newton and the Patriots, and Michael Wilbon has no qualms about it.
In fact, Wilbon seemingly can’t understand why anyone would criticize New England for not pursuing Newton.
Sure, one could argue the Patriots, at least on paper, need an upgrade to their quarterback depth chart. But as Wilbon explained Tuesday on ESPN’s “Pardon the Interruption,” the greatest football coach of all time probably has a good feel for his team, despite what naysaying fans and media members alike might tell you.
“These are the New England Patriots we’re talking about,” Wilbon said. “I know you (Tony Kornheiser) and I and people of our ilk, we like to go on TV and radio and the newspaper and tell teams what they should do. There’s one team that I’m not even going to try to tell what to do and it’s the New England Patriots. What are we talking about? Should they be interested because odds in Vegas say they should? Whatever Bill Belichick and his crew think they should do, that’s fine with me until we are proven otherwise.”

So, where could Newton take his talents if Foxboro is out of the picture? Both Kornheiser and former NFL wide receiver Nate Burleson like the idea of the 2015 NFL MVP joining a Patriots rival.
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What Tony Gonzalez Took Away From Rob Gronkowski Joining Buccaneers

Tony Gonzalez wasn’t surprised to see Rob Gronkowski stage an NFL comeback.
After sitting out the 2019 NFL season, Gronkowski broke out of “retirement” and joined the Tampa Bay Buccaneers by way of a trade out of New England. Gronkowski now will join Tom Brady on a Bucs team that will enter the upcoming season as a legitimate Super Bowl contender.
Gonzalez probably had a better feel for Gronk’s plans than most given they worked together as FOX NFL analysts last season. Gonzalez had a hunch Gronkowski had a desire to strap the pads back on, so his main takeaway from the five-time Pro Bowler’s return was that Gronk had no interest in playing for the Patriots again.
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“…I asked him, ‘How do you feel?’ You know, he’s on the CBD, he said his body feels good, he said he was working out five days a week,” Gonzalez said Tuesday on FS1’s “Speak For Yourself.” “I thought he was going to come back last year, honestly. I thought he was going to come back toward the middle of the season, come back to New England, make another run ’cause his body was healed up. But just getting that sense, you could tell he still missed it. He’s young. I mean, he’s not even 31 yet. …When he came out, I was not surprised. It’s more of a tale about he didn’t like it in New England. It’s not fun. He liked winning, but it’s just not fun. Now he gets to have fun and go out there and win. They’re a championship-caliber team now, so I see why he came back. It made great sense.”

[email protected] isn't surprised about @RobGronkowski's return to the NFL
"It’s more of a tell that he didn’t like it in New England." pic.twitter.com/k6mWpbYy6K
— Speak For Yourself (@SFY) April 28, 2020

Gonzalez’s assumption might not be entirely correct. While Gronk’s true feelings about the Patriots are unknown, he admitted he “definitely” would have considered returning to New England had Brady stuck around. It’s tough to blame Gronkowski for not wanting to join this Brady-less Patriots team, which could be bound for an underwhelming season in 2020.
That said, games aren’t won on paper and we probably shouldn’t go overboard with expectations for Tampa Bay. Between an altered preseason, Gronk’s hiatus, a tough division and other factors, the Bucs have their work cut out for them.
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Ex-Red Sox Star Manny Ramirez Eyeing Baseball Comeback (But Not In MLB)

Manny Ramirez is about to turn 48-years-old next month, but don’t tell him he can’t still play.
Seriously, he’s trying to make a baseball comeback.
Ramirez played 49 games in Taiwan back in 2013 before returning to the United States and, eventually, taking a brief run at minor league baseball before retiring.
But after some years away from the game, Ramirez is eyeing a baseball comeback in the Chinese Professional Baseball League.
Here’s an excerpt from Ramirez’s interview with The Taiwan Times, with the below question coming after Ramirez said he “can never get enough of the game” and still swings a bat as part of his workout routine.
Q: Any hopes to come back to Taiwan and play in the CPBL again?
A: My goal for 2020, is to find a roster spot in the CPBL.
I have been itching to get back in the batter’s box and be able to compete again. I also miss being around teammates and team dinners post-game.
I know if I was given the opportunity to come in an organization as a player-coach, it would do great things for the organization and the league.
When I arrived in 2013, attendances nearly quadrupled overnight. That means, there is love for the game and the fans will come but the owners must bring what the fans want.
In the 49 games Ramirez played in the CPBL, he hit .352 with eight homers and 43 RBIs and was a fan favorite.
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Chargers GM Reveals Team’s Plan If Dolphins Had Selected Justin Herbert

With the sixth overall pick in this year’s draft, the Chargers selected Justin Herbert, who Los Angeles surely is hoping will be the franchise’s quarterback for years to come.
But what would the Bolts have done if Herbert was unavailable?
Three teams picking in the top six of the 2020 draft were in need of quarterback help: the Bengals, Dolphins and Chargers. Everyone in the world knew Cincinnati was going to take Joe Burrow No. 1 overall, but plenty of uncertainty surrounded Miami at No. 5. After countless rumors in all different directions, the Fins ultimately selected Tua Tagovailoa.
But had the Dolphins selected Herbert fifth overall, the Chargers were comfortable with taking the Alabama product with their top pick.
“Yeah, we felt great about both guys,” LA general manager Tom Telesco said on “The Pat McAfee Show.” “Well, actually, we felt great about all three quarterbacks that went in the top six. All three are going to be really good players in this league and it’s a comforting factor to know — I hope we don’t pick six very often. If we do, I won’t be making very many picks here. So if you’re going to pick this high and there’s a potential, down-the-road franchise quarterback there that you like, you gotta take him. We were lucky to have some quarterbacks there in this draft that are really good players.”

BREAKING: Tua would have been a member of the @Chargers if the #Dolphins took Herbert at 5
GM Tom Telesco confirms #PatMcAfeeShowLIVE pic.twitter.com/ZEqeqFUmva
— Pat McAfee (@PatMcAfeeShow) April 28, 2020

For what it’s worth, the Chargers will visit the Dolphins at some point in the upcoming season.
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These Are Patriots’ Most Intriguing Undrafted Free Agent Additions

As is often the case, the New England Patriots’ undrafted free agent class is wildly more exciting than their Day 3 selections in the 2020 NFL Draft.
And these players probably have an equal chance of making the Patriots’ roster as their four sixth- and seventh-round picks: guards Michael Onwenu and Justin Herron, linebacker Cassh Maluia and center Dustin Woodard.
These are the most exciting signings out of the Patriots’ 16 undrafted free agents.
RB J.J. TAYLOR
The Arizona product is one of just six running backs on the Patriots’ 90-man roster. So if one of Brandon Bolden, Rex Burkhead, Damien Harris, Sony Michel or James White suffers an injury in training camp, then Taylor has a legit shot at a roster spot.
He averaged 5.6 yards per carry in his college career, picking up 3,263 yards, 18 rushing touchdowns, 62 catches, 487 yards and two more receiving touchdowns in four years. He also returned 41 kicks for 988 yards with a touchdown.
He flashed pretty impressive agility and quickness with a 4.15-second short shuttle and 7-second three-cone drill at the NFL Scouting Combine. He ran a 4.61-second 40-yard dash with a 34.5-inch vertical leap, 9-feet, 10-inch broad jump and 19 bench press reps of 225 pounds.
Pro Football Focus gave Taylor their “most fun to watch” superlative among running backs for his ability to “truck stick” defenders and “jump cut like a ballerina” with his “light feet.”
So, how’d he go undrafted? He’s 5-foot-5, 185 pounds, which is an inch-and-a-half shorter and 8 pounds lighter than Dion Lewis measured in at his combine. That’s very small for an NFL player.
They tested almost identically. Lewis ran a 4.62-second 40-yard dash at the 2011 combine with a 6.90-second three-cone, 4.18-second short shuttle, 34.5-inch vertical leap and 9-feet, 4-inch broad jump.
The Patriots were willing to take a shot on Lewis, and now they have Taylor in house.
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WR WILL HASTINGS
Hastings is intriguing because he was Jarrett Stidham’s slot receiver in 2017. He wasn’t invited to the NFL Scouting Combine but slipped in a pro day before coronavirus cancelations. He ran a 4.51-second 40-yard dash with a rabbit-quick 6.55-second three-cone drill, 4.03-second short shuttle, 33-inch vertical leap and 9-feet, 8-inch broad jump.
He’s very undersized at 5-foot-10, 175 pounds, but if he can make it anywhere in the NFL, it would be New England.
Julian Edelman’s testing numbers, by the way? 4.52-second 40-yard dash, 6.62-second three-cone drill, 3.92-second short shuttle, 36.5-inch vertical leap and 10-feet, 3-inch broad jump at 5-foot-10, 195 pounds.
WR JEFF THOMAS
Thomas isn’t as fast as Tyreek Hill, but he was a deep threat in college.

Jeff Thomas was a legit deep threat during his time at Miami.
In 2018 Thomas caught all 9 catchable passes aimed 20+ yards downfield for 327 yards and 3 TDs. https://t.co/U73FYj66QH
— PFF NE Patriots (@PFF_Patriots) April 26, 2020

He’s just 5-foot-9, 170 pounds, but we’re excited to see his deep speed in training camp. He had some character concerns at Miami.
DE NICK COE
Coe is a tweener defensive lineman at 6-foot-5, 280 pounds. He has good length with almost 34-inch arms, but character concerns and inconsistency made him fall out of the draft. He was ranked as a fourth- or fifth-round prospect by DraftScout.com, however.
He’ll either be viewed as a strong-side defensive end or interior player on the Patriots’ defensive line. There’s something to mold here, but Coe was never fully formed at Auburn. We’ll see if the Patriots’ no-nonsense approach can get him to live up to his four-star recruit billing.
Miami defensive end Trevon Hill is another intriguing defender with character concerns.
LB DE’JON HARRIS
Harris was the Patriots’ highest-paid undrafted free agent signing. He and San Diego State linebacker Kyahva Tezino can best be compared to Elandon Roberts. But they’re undersized inside thumpers.
DB MYLES BRYANT
We have to highlight the undrafted cornerback, right? Given the Patriots’ history of success finding undrafted players at the position?
Like Taylor, Hastings and Thomas, Bryant is very undersized at 5-foot-8, 183 pounds. His 4.62-second 40-yard dash won’t impress anyone, but as a slot cornerback, his 4.02-second short shuttle and 6.81-second three-cone drill are more important.
Bryant also played free safety at Washington.
More Patriots: Undrafted Free Agent Tracker

Could Packers Trade Aaron Rodgers? NFL Insider Evaluates Likelihood

Jordan Love one day could very well usurp Aaron Rodgers, but it doesn’t sound like that will be any time soon.
The Packers made arguably the most surprising first-round pick of the 2020 NFL Draft, moving up four spots to land Love. Hypotheticals unsurprisingly began to arrive in droves, including one where Rodgers ends up with the New England Patriots.
ESPN’s Dan Graziano put one of these nonsensical ideas to rest Tuesday morning. The NFL insider made it clear there’s next to no chance Green Bay trades Rodgers in the immediate future.
“Yeah, pretty much impossible at this point,” Graziano said on “Get Up.” “If they were to trade him now, very hypothetically, it’s more than $51 million in dead money on this year’s salary cap. It would actually add $29 million to this year’s cap. They don’t have that cap room to even do it if they wanted to. Even if they trade him next year, you’re looking at more than $31 million in dead money. A trade of Aaron Rodgers out of Green Bay is pretty much impossible this year and would be extremely painful for the team next year. If you were to do it this time next year, you’d have to be sure that Rodgers was done and/or Jordan Love was absolutely ready to go and be a starter in the NFL in 2021. So, yeah, asking for a trade is very far-fetched and, quite frankly, an insane overreaction.”
Logistics aside, the Packers have no reason to be interested in trading Rodgers right now. The two-time NFL MVP, who turns 37 in early December, has shown no glaring signs of decline, and it’s tough to imagine we’ll see a drastic dip in his play any time soon.
Rodgers is under contract through the 2023 season, though. So who knows, maybe Green Bay’s hand will be forced toward the back end of the QB’s deal.
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Why Patriots Trading For Jacoby Brissett Wouldn’t Make Much Sense

It wouldn’t be surprising if the Indianapolis Colts traded Jacoby Brissett before the 2020 NFL season. It would be surprising if he wound up back in New England.
The Brissett-to-the-Patriots speculation began percolating after the Colts used a fourth-round draft pick on quarterback Jacob Eason over the weekend. This came after Indy already had signed veteran Philip Rivers early in free agency, bumping Brissett out of his tenuous starting spot.
On the surface, the connection is understandable. The Patriots have uncertainty at the quarterback position with Tom Brady gone, and Brissett is an experienced starter who knows New England’s offense.
But … that’s about it.
Though he’s played well in spurts, Brissett has been, statistically speaking, one of the worst starting quarterbacks in the NFL since the Patriots traded him to the Colts for Phillip Dorsett days before the 2017 season.
Among the 24 QBs with at least 30 starts during that span, Brissett ranks:
— Third-to-last in passer rating (84.6). Only Andy Dalton and Joe Flacco are worse.
— Third-to-last in touchdown percentage (3.4 percent). Only Marcus Mariota and Flacco are worse.
— Second-to-last in yards per attempt (6.57). Only Flacco is worse.
— Dead last in completion percentage (59.8).
The fact that the Colts signed a big-name quarterback and drafted another less than 12 months after giving Brissett a three-year, $30 million contract with $20 million guaranteed should tell you all you need to know about the good-natured 27-year-old.
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The Patriots would be smart to carry a veteran QB who’s started games in the NFL to compete with and/or provide insurance behind 2019 fourth-round draft pick Jarrett Stidham, but they already have one in Brian Hoyer, whom Indianapolis cut loose after signing Rivers.
Even if Hoyer has diminished talent and a lower ceiling than the younger Brissett, he’s far, far cheaper — $1.05 million on his one-year contract, compared to the $7.86 million salary cap hit New England would take on if it acquired Brissett, according to cap expert Miguel Benzan — which matters given the Patriots’ current financial pinch. Hoyer also would be better suited for a mentorship role in the (likely) scenario that Stidham wins the starting job.
It’s worth noting, too, that Stidham, whose heir apparent status was bolstered by Bill Belichick’s decision to pass on all quarterbacks during the 2020 NFL Draft, performed significantly better last summer than Brissett did in either of his two Patriots training camps.
Stidham had the most impressive rookie preseason of any Patriots quarterback in recent memory. Brissett looked uninspiring right up until he torched a bunch of New York Giants third-stringers in the final game of his second NFL summer, after which New England, knowing his value would never be higher, immediately flipped him for Dorsett.
The Patriots knew when to cut bait on Brissett three years ago. Bringing him back now, at his cap number, wouldn’t compute.
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