New England Patriots Super Bowl Champs

Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski Won’t Be Limited According to Bill Belichick

Philly.com

Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski, whose 2016 season was cut short due to a back injury that required surgery, has a clean bill of health for the start of training camp, Mike Reiss of ESPN Boston reports.

“He doesn’t have limits that I know of,” coach Bill Belichick said Thursday when asked if the next challenge for Gronkowski is to absorb full contact.

Asked what he has noticed from Gronkowski’s approach returning from his back injury, Belichick added, “That was all pretty much over with by the start of the offseason program [in the spring].”

Gronkowski had been a full participant in spring practices, and said at the time that he was 100 percent. But those practices aren’t held in full pads. The Patriots’ first full-pads practice is expected to be Saturday.

Brady, Garoppolo and Brissett – The Pats Have the Deepest QB Collection in the NFL

If there’s one position where it looks as if the Patriots are well ahead of the game heading into 2017, it’s that of quarterback.

With future Hall of Famer Tom Brady leading the way, backed up by Jimmy Garoppolo and Jacoby Brissett, the Pats are deeper than any team in the league in this department.

The Boston Herald, doing their part to break the team down before camp starts, talked about the Patriots QB position today, and had the following to say about it.

Skinny: This is the best collection of quarterbacks on one team in the entire league. The question, of course, is for how long that will remain the case, with Brady about to turn 40 next week and Garoppolo entering the final year of his contract. For now, though, the Pats don’t have much, if anything, to worry about. Brady has set himself apart as an all-timer, and Garoppolo showed in just a game and nearly a half last season that he’s capable of handling the controls if Brady goes down. Even Brissett won a start last year, but the Pats are hoping they won’t have to rely on him this season.

Want to Buy the Home of Former Patriots TE Aaron Hernandez? It’s Back on the Market

CNN.com

Aaron Hernandez’s home is back on the market after an agreement to sell it for $1.3 million fell through.

The Boston Herald reports that a lawyer for the late New England Patriots player told a probate judge on Monday that Hernandez’s estate has also been bolstered by the discovery of a 401(k) plan valued at about $167,000 and another account totaling $50,000. No beneficiary for either was named.

Hernandez bought the 7,100-square-foot home in North Attleborough in 2012.

Hernandez’s estate is facing several wrongful death suits and the assets could be used to pay damages in those cases.

Hernandez was serving a life sentence for the 2013 killing of Odin Lloyd when he hanged himself in prison in April days after his acquittal in a double slaying.

USA Today Picks the Patriots to Go Perfect in the Regular Season

NFL training camps are set to get underway, and with it national publications are starting to make their picks – with one giving the Patriots a LOT of love.

USA Today has the Patriots running the table, much like they did in the 2007 season, going 16-0 in the regular season. Here’s what they had to say about the Pats:

New England Patriots (16-0): Is it bold? Sure. Kinda. But it’s not like Tom Brady hasn’t gone 16-0 before … (and, really, wouldn’t he and Bill Belichick secretly love to add 19-0 to their otherwise incomparable resumes?). And from the FWIW department, Brady went 14-1 last season and appears to be surrounded by an even better cast now, especially if Rob Gronkowski is, in fact, back to 100%. The division should be a cakewalk, and even one of New England’s toughest road games — against the Raiders — will be at a neutral site (Mexico City). The most difficult stretch comes from Weeks 13-15, when the Pats play at Buffalo, at Miami (where they typically struggle) and at Pittsburgh for a Monday nighter Dec. 17.

Sure the Pats would love to get a chance to duplicate history like they did in 2007, but more importantly the defending Super Bowl champs don’t want a repeat of what happened in 07 after they ran the regular season table – that being a Super Bowl loss.

Patriots Owner Robert Kraft Says the NFL Future is in Livestreaming Games

Patriots owner Robert Kraft said the future of NFL broadcasts is in “over the top” deals like the livestreaming agreement the NFL signed with Amazon this spring, Claire Atkinson of the New York Post reports.

Amazon will charge advertisers $2.8 million for an “OTT” ad package around its 10 Thursday night games, Reuters revealed on Thursday. Amazon paid $50 million for the non-exclusive rights to NFL games starting this season, nudging aside Twitter, which had paid $10 million to stream Thursday night NFL games last season.

“There has been a dramatic shift,” Kraft said at Cannes Lions, speaking as part of an interview with WPP Group CEO Martin Sorrell. “This year we’re with Amazon and for us the future is OTT.”

Kraft continued: “We’ll be very interested to see how Amazon goes as it’s behind the paywall. The thing we have to be careful of is millennials. They don’t watch TV, they don’t have TVs or subscribe to cable. So we have to bring that audience in. Partly it’s done through fantasy games and linking to that. Over-the-top is a great opportunity.”

Amazon will air the games to members of its $99-a-year subscription service, Amazon Prime Video.

Patriots Agree to Terms with Veteran Wide Out Andrew Hawkins

Already loaded at the wide receiver position, the New England Patriots added another layer Wednesday by agreeing to a one-year deal with Andrew Hawkins, Mike Reiss of ESPN Boston reports.

Hawkins confirmed the deal on Uninterrupted, the network developed by LeBron James and his business partner Maverick Carter, saying, “I’m super excited about the opportunity to join the reigning football champions.

I exited Cleveland, and I said it was about joining a contender and the Patriots are the contender, the reigning champs. The program is top-notch and you get the opportunity to play with the best quarterback and the best coach in NFL history.”

Hawkins added that he passed up on deals that “were probably double the compensation” with other teams.

“It’s all about winning for me at this point, and putting myself in the best position to do so. I have my work cut out for me, it’s an opportunity, and that’s how I’m approaching it: Go in there, seeing how I stack up with the best, and try to earn my keep and prove my worth. Hopefully I can be a part of something special and kind of join that Patriots legacy.”

Tom Brady’s Wife Gisele Bundchen Says Patriots QB Suffered a Concussion Last Season

Tom Brady’s wife, Gisele Bundchen, says the New England Patriots quarterback has a history of concussions, including one suffered last year ESPN reports.

“He had a concussion last year. He has concussions pretty much every — I mean, we don’t talk about it. He does have concussions,” Bundchen said on “CBS This Morning” on Wednesday. “I don’t really think it’s a healthy thing for a body to go through that kind of aggression all the time. That could not be healthy for you.”

Bundchen was responding to a question about comments Brady has made that she wanted him to retire. She did not specify when Brady suffered a concussion or whether it was medically diagnosed and was not asked a follow-up question.

The Patriots did not list Brady as having a concussion at any point in the 2016 season, and no concussion or head injury is listed for Brady in his professional career, according to Stats Pass. New England did report leg, thigh and ankle injuries for Brady during the 2016 calendar year.

A Rundown of All the New England Patriots 2017 NFL Draft Picks

Sports Illustrated has a complete rundown of all of the Patriots 2017 Draft Picks and some commentary as well.

Round 3, Pick 19 (No. 83 overall, from Titans)

Derek Rivers, DE, Youngstown State: The wait through 82 picks (including a trade down Friday) was a long one for the Patriots. Landing Rivers could make it worthwhile. He’s a hard-working edge rusher who will provide the defending champs some depth on passing downs. There were some folks who thought he could sneak into Round 1, so mid-Round 3 is a decent spot to find him. Grade: A-

Round 3, Pick 21 (No. 85, from Lions)

Antonio Garcia, OT, Troy: Guess the Patriots were bored after all. After waiting all the way until No. 83 to make their first pick of the draft, they turned around and dealt picks 96 and 124 to Detroit for this spot. Garcia is a developmental talent at tackle, and the Patriots have the pieces in place to buy him some time.? Grade: B

Round 4, Pick 25 (No. 131) Deatrich Wise Jr., DE, Arkansas

Round 6, Pick 28 (No. 211, from Cowboys) Conor McDermott, OT, UCLA