The Pat Came Back: Returning New England Veterans

-by DNOMN8R314

Within the thus-far quietness of New England’s free agency period, one signing stands out: running back Brandon Bolden, who began his career with the Patriots in 2012, spending the next six years with the team, before signing with Miami last season. Bolden is expected to reclaim his role as a core special teamer and versatile backup running back.

But Bolden will not be the only player to return to Foxboro after playing in another city. Just within the past decade, several Patriots have left and come back, to varying degrees of success. Here is just a small sample size: four players who left New England, but would play again at home in Gillette Stadium.

Patrick Chung: Chung’s first four years in the NFL started strong, especially a dominant game against Miami in 2010, before trailing into mediocrity when used primarily as a coverage safety. He signed with the Eagles in 2013, but was cut after one season and re-signed with New England on a one-year contract. With low expectations from the fandom, Chung won the starting strong safety job out of camp and began his transformation into one of the unsung dominant box safeties in the NFL. He remains a key cog in the Patriots’ defense.

LeGarrette Blount: The Patriots acquired Blount from Tampa Bay during the 2013 NFL draft, and the big back came one yard shy of leading the team in rushing yards. Surprisingly, Blount also served as the team’s kick returner, nearly breaking two in the season finale. The Steelers signed Blount in 2014 but cut him halfway through the season, and New England snapped him back up. Blount became the team’s primary rushing back for the next two and a half seasons, setting a team record for rushing touchdowns in a season (with 18 in 2016) and helping the team earn two Lombardi Trophies.

Martellus Bennett: Another trade acquisition, Bennett came to New England in exchange for a pick swap with Chicago. Though most speculated this was to create a dominant tight end pairing with Rob Gronkowski, that pairing never materialized due to injuries. Still, Bennett put up a successful 55/701/7 slash line over the season and helped the Patriots win Super Bowl LI. Though he signed with the Packers in 2017, Bennett only lasted until November before being released. The Patriots brought him back, and he caught the final six passes of his career in two games before he was placed on injured reserve.

Donté Stallworth: Stallworth was part of the influx of wide receivers brought into Foxboro in 2007, the third weapon behind Randy Moss and Wes Welker. While Stallworth did put up a 46/697/3 slash line, the Patriots declined his option. Five years and three teams later, the Patriots brought Stallworth back for their 2012 training camp. Though he did not make the initial roster, he was re-signed in December due to injuries. He played in just one game before being placed on injured reserve; in that game, he made one catch – like Bennett five years later, the last of his career – but his was a 63-yard touchdown.

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dp73
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dp73

https://nesn.com/2019/03/bill-belichick-should-ease-some-patriots-concerns-with-two-word-answer/

Have a question for Doug Kyed? Send it to him via Twitter at @DougKyed.

Yeah, I have a question. What month is it ? lol

Deadsmack #GreenShirtGuy
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Deadsmack #GreenShirtGuy

According to Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald, the Dolphins were interested in trading for Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford, with then-coach Adam Gase reaching out to Lions coach Matt Patricia to see what it would take to do a deal.

Deadsmack #GreenShirtGuy
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Deadsmack #GreenShirtGuy

* Last season

Deadsmack #GreenShirtGuy
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Deadsmack #GreenShirtGuy

Jeff Howe
@jeffphowe
Bill Belichick fielded 116 questions over 43 minutes this morning (2.7 questions per minute). He said 1,790 words, an average of 15.4 per response. His most frequent phrases were “we’ll see” (21 times) and “I don’t know” (13 times).

JLStokes
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The deal between the #Saints and FA TE Jared Cook will be signed today. It’s a 2-year contract worth $15.5M, including $8M fully guaranteed in Year 1. A big weapon for coach Sean Payton’s offense and a really nice payday for the 32-year-old.

dp73
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dp73

It would have been nice to get him as the TE the Pats will drafts develops. That said Graham, Watston and Gronk all started their rookie years.

BoSoxJim
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BoSoxJim

This is unfortunate.

JLStokes
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JLStokes

@PP_Rich_Hill
Huh. Just noticed this:

Tom Brady has thrown more passes (reg + post) than any other quarterback in NFL history with 10,964 pass attempts.

He passed Brett Favre (10,960) during the Super Bowl.

Also passed Drew Brees (6,994) for most completions in NFL history with 7,009.

PatriotPrideBoy
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PatriotPrideBoy

Romo wants $10M for being a color analyst.

Pay the man.

M.Fan
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M.Fan

but, but he is white.
(sorry, I’ll see myself out)

Neil X
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Neil X

You don’t need to leave. Let me show you the wine cellar.

BoSoxJim
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BoSoxJim

Manish Mehta

@MMehtaNYDN

How much longer will Tom Brady play?

Adam Gase: “I don’t know. When I wake up, I feel like shit. And he’s older than me.”

PatriotPrideBoy
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PatriotPrideBoy

Hi

itsBradyBaby
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itsBradyBaby

Well Stokes not sure about Ellington because I haven’t seen much of him but I’m betting like I did for KT that Harris makes the team..

JLStokes
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JLStokes

I think we’ve reached the point where the starting 5 of the Celtics is changed again for the playoffs.

Starting 5: Irving / Tatum / Hayward / Horford / Baynes
Main bench unit: Rozier / Smart / Brown / Morris / Theis (or Williams/Monroe)

JLStokes
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JLStokes

Semi-bold prediction: Belichick takes a wide receiver in the first round the draft for the first time.

itsBradyBaby
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itsBradyBaby

ITS ELLINGTON AND HARRIS BABY, LMAO.

JLStokes
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JLStokes

I’ll be legit shocked if both make the final 53.

itsBradyBaby
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itsBradyBaby

Well like KT I’m betting Harris makes the team not sure about Ellington cus haven’t seen much of him.

hugo #FreeBoney
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hugo #FreeBoney

Semi-bold is a good way to put it. It’s not bold in a vacuum. They took Michel in the first last year.
What makes it bold is that they’ve drafted TEs high a lot. The odds have to be higher they go TE at #32 than WR.

Kerthwap
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Kerthwap

Why not! I don’t think I’ve ever once gotten a Belichick draft prediction correct.

JLStokes
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JLStokes

I don’t see how the league doesn’t have Pats/Cowboys for the SNF game. Why waste a Chiefs rematch for the opener as well as the Browns.

BoSoxJim
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BoSoxJim

Considering how the Pats can start the season slowly, I would prefer that they face their tougher AFC opponents later in the season…for tiebreaker purposes.

dp73
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dp73

Why would NFL look at it as a waste?

MasterAndCommander
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MasterAndCommander

we’re on to the draft……

dfwpatsfan
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dfwpatsfan

I just realized Gronk had 87 yards in his final game. Damn, that’s some spooky coincidence.

M.Fan
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M.Fan

Gronk had 79 TDs over 115 games, for an average of 0.69 TD/game.
Now, that’s spooky 🙂

BoSoxJim
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BoSoxJim

Actually, Gronk had 80 TDs in 115 regular season games. People often leave out his 1 “rushing” TD. So it’s 0.70 TDs/game…..not as fun.

rking88
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rking88

BOO

NewEnglandBlight
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NewEnglandBlight

I know no one will read this, and I’m in the vast minority.. but I agree that Kareem Hunt should stay with the Browns during his suspension for domestic violence.

I believe in transformative justice. I also believe preventing recidivism parallels with being engaged with the general public. Isolating perpetrators does not make us, or them, better as a society.

I believe, strongly, the US punitive system has gotten WAY out of hand. It’s net impact on society has been terrible. I have a hard time understanding how we’ve gotten to this point.

Mattsky
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Mattsky

I don’t think it will make any difference in his future behavior if he is allowed to stay with the Browns during his suspension or not.

NewEnglandBlight
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NewEnglandBlight

I think it will.

M.Fan
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M.Fan

Fully agree with what you are saying about the US punitive system. But what is being discussed here is not the choice between Hunt being locked away as an excessive retaliation for his faults OR be given an opportunity to redeem himself and see plenty of good examples in a well designed and real-life based re-training program. Instead what we are discussing here is whether this entitled kid should have access to his employers’ facilities so that when his suspension is lifted, he immediately can contribute to the success of his firm. The “strong support system” of the Cleveland Browns… Read more »

hugo #FreeBoney
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hugo #FreeBoney

This is the kind of thing that makes perfect sense when you’re on the inside, and doesn’t make sense when you’re on the outside. Like hiring Kliff Kingsbury from being a mediocre to unsuccessful college coach.
Agree or disagree, American football culture has a strong concept of being a training ground for boys to become men. That’s the way its always been. From a total outsider’s perspective, saying “Kareem Hunt will stop beating up chicks by working on his pass protection” seems absurd. But to football people it makes total sense.

M.Fan
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M.Fan

In that context, yes, I understand the proposition. it’s like a “join the army, where boys become men” type of approach.
But I just think that in this particular case, they just try to have him around so that he is football-ready for week 9.

hugo #FreeBoney
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hugo #FreeBoney

I see what you’re saying in a vacuum. I do buy that athletes with some antisocial behaviors (drugs, drinking, partying too much, etc.) benefit from being around their team as much as possible. I’ve always figured that’s why presumed knuckleheads like Blount, Talib, Dillon etc. do ok in New England. The structure keeps them occupied. Idle hands are the devil’s workshop etc.

That said, football is a game of beating people up. I can’t imagine he’s going to learn not to beat up chicks by being in meetings more. The Browns want a competitive advantage that’s all.

MasterAndCommander
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MasterAndCommander

Welp. The Bruins lose the third badly. Lose 5-4.

MasterAndCommander
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MasterAndCommander

DINGOOOOOAAAAAALLLL!!!! 4-2.

MasterAndCommander
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MasterAndCommander

Dingoooooaaaal!!!!!!

B’s up 3-2 late 2nd.

MattDog #N'KealHarryToThePats
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MattDog #N'KealHarryToThePats

Win the 3rd, something something…!

rking88
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rking88

Gronk is like our era’s Bo Jackson

MasterAndCommander
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MasterAndCommander

How so/?

rking88
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rking88

Physically dominant in ways that weren’t really seen at the position… but ultimately had a relatively short career due in large part to injuries…

i know Bo was a freak dual sport athlete and gronk isnt exactly that… but I look at the numbers each put up in their respective careers and the level of dominance they had… and i can see similarities

rking88
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rking88

and a similar case of “what if” because of the injury factor… what if gronk had stayed healthy? what would the numbers have been if he hadn’t missed so much time because of injuries…

what would bo’s career have been like if he didnt have that freak hip issue

MasterAndCommander
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MasterAndCommander

In a possible 2nd round playoff preview,,,th e Bruins trail TB 2-1 after 1.

MasterAndCommander
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MasterAndCommander

Look. You won’t get another Gronk. But what you can do is find a TE with excellent receiving skills and have Scar coach him up on run and pass protect blocking. I’m guessing you may have to find that person in the draft. Then use FA or a trade for your backups.

hugo #FreeBoney
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hugo #FreeBoney

@MaryKayCabot The #Browns are asking #NFL to let Kareem Hunt remain w/ the team during his 8-game ban so he can have structure and his strong support team in place, league source tells clevelanddotcom. Usually players are banished from the facility
This is definitely about a strong support system

MasterAndCommander
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MasterAndCommander

Was Gordon allowed?

M.Fan
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M.Fan

No, really, I get it. Without the strong support team (that the Cleveland Browns are by the way world famous for), we run the risk of this
overpaid millionaire, drunk and liar, to cede to his apparently inevitable impulses and kick & batter another woman.
GTFO.

itsBradyBaby
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itsBradyBaby

Lacosse Anderson Hollister Izzo two drafted Tight ends, two undrafted Tight ends and maybe a TE via trade, nice camp battle and may the best 3 or 4 win.

itsBradyBaby
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itsBradyBaby

WE ARE UNTO LACOSSE.

dp73
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dp73

https://nesn.com/2019/03/best-of-rob-gronkowski-ranking-patriots-tight-ends-10-greatest-games/ I am going do go with #4 as Gronks best game it was at home in which he dominated the game from the opening kickoff. He just would not go down when hit in this game. I am going with the Bears game because it was a home game and I was there. The Denver playoff game was great also. “He didn’t catch a pass after the 12:54 mark of the third quarter. His final reception — a 46-yard touchdown made possible by a vicious stiff-arm — put the Patriots ahead 45-7 minutes after halftime and allowed Gronkowski to… Read more »

Deadsmack #GreenShirtGuy
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Deadsmack #GreenShirtGuy

Ian Rapoport
The #Bengals re-signed CB Darqueze Dennard to a one-year contract worth $5M, source said. He preferred a one-year over a multi-year, with a shot at the market next offseason.

MattDog #N'KealHarryToThePats
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MattDog #N'KealHarryToThePats

Allez Les Bleus!

Deadsmack #GreenShirtGuy
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Deadsmack #GreenShirtGuy

Croissants 🙂

MattDog #N'KealHarryToThePats
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MattDog #N'KealHarryToThePats

Couldn’t beat Serbia?

Deadsmack #GreenShirtGuy
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Deadsmack #GreenShirtGuy

They missed so many chances

MattDog #N'KealHarryToThePats
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MattDog #N'KealHarryToThePats

Serbia has a lot of talent. It’s tough in Europe. We don’t have that problem in CONCACAF. 🙂

MattDog #N'KealHarryToThePats
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MattDog #N'KealHarryToThePats

Was joking with my Irish buddies that they could only beat Gibraltar, a country of 30,000, by 1 goal.

Deadsmack #GreenShirtGuy
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Deadsmack #GreenShirtGuy

Zoltán Buday @PFF_Zoltan
The highest single season @PFF grades by a TE since 2010:
1. Gronk (2011)
2. Gronk (2014)
3. Gronk (2015)
4. Gronk (2013)
5. Gronk (2012)
6. Gronk (2017)
t-7. Gronk (2016), Greg Olsen (2015) & Jason Witten (2010)
10. Jimmy Graham (2011)

M.Fan
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M.Fan

Zoltán strikes again 🙂

Deadsmack #GreenShirtGuy
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Deadsmack #GreenShirtGuy

All gone 🙁
comment image:large

NHBruh
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NHBruh

Who is behind Ryan?

Deadsmack #GreenShirtGuy
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Deadsmack #GreenShirtGuy

i don’t know

Deadsmack #GreenShirtGuy
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Deadsmack #GreenShirtGuy

It makes no sense that the champion doesn’t play the season opener

cfpats4
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cfpats4

It’s the 100th season and the packers and bears have the oldest teams
Plus rest of the country hates the pats and they have low ratings across the country

Deadsmack #GreenShirtGuy
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Deadsmack #GreenShirtGuy

still, it makes no sense

Kerthwap
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Kerthwap

Probably gives Goodell an excuse to be elsewhere, because he’s a whiny coward like that.

cfpats4
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cfpats4

Pats home schedule

Buffalo Bills
Miami Dolphins
New York Jets
Pittsburgh Steelers
Cleveland Browns
Dallas Cowboys
New York Giants
Kansas City Chiefs

cfpats4
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cfpats4

I’m guessing browns for Sunday opener

jdlboot14
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jdlboot14

I could see that, makes sense. I think only the Chiefs will be a potential home loss. Not afraid of Cowboys, Steelers anymore, or Dolphins, Browns – yet. Jets, Bills and Giants are still in rebuild mode (funny all NY teams a joke)

MrLucky
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MrLucky

8-0

cfpats4
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cfpats4

8-8

MrLucky
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MrLucky

I’ve been hearing about the end of Pats dominance for so long it doesn’t even register anymore. When it happens it happens, until then I’ll keep drinking the kool-aid.

dp73
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dp73

I think it will be KC.

Mattsky
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Mattsky

Mike Garafolo

@MikeGarafolo

NFL announces #Packers at #Bears will be the Thursday night opener for the 100th NFL season

@MikeGarafolo

#Patriots will host Sunday Night Football in Week 1. Opponent TBD.

Jdog Lemon Head
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Jdog Lemon Head

I hate late games 🙁

M.Fan
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M.Fan

I absolutely hate late games, but am always willing to pull an all-nighter to watch the Pats play.

NHBruh
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NHBruh

This para from Barnwell:

“That’s what I’ll remember about Rob Gronkowski. At his best, with his team’s on the season on the line, when the entire stadium knew he was getting the ball, he embarrassed a double-team from the best defense in football twice in the same possession. He was so good that we question whether Tom Brady — Tom Brady — made the right decision to not throw the ball to him on the next play. Gronk was the ultimate mismatch.”

http://www.espn.com/nfl/story/_/id/26351437/the-greatness-rob-gronkowski-next-patriots

MrScratch
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MrScratch

A few weeks ago there was a disturbing scenario where the Kings could push the Clippers out of the playoffs and the Celtics would end up with draft selections at 18/19 from Sac and their own at 22/23. Now the Celtics are lined up to get those picks and the Kings lottery selection, however the 18/19 is slotted to be their own and the 22/23 would come from the Clippers.

With 8 to play they better hope Indiana falls apart of they’re looking at being road dogs throughout.

jdlboot14
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jdlboot14

I hope Gronk’s extended timing wasn’t a little jab at BB, to show his disappointment at $ or past issues. I don’t think he needed almost 3 months to know he wasn’t coming back. Also, I agree with Willie – I could see a situation where Gronk doesn’t get any big movie deals and feels the itch mid-season (and Brady begs him) to come back for the home stretch.

NHBruh
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NHBruh

It wasn’t 3 months. It has been 7 weeks. This seems to be in line with what he said immediately after the SB.

Jdog Lemon Head
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Jdog Lemon Head

And the beat goes on…Still moving strong…

#BoSoxJinx List:

TJ Moe
Josh Boyce
Larry Fitzgerald
Kareem Hunt
Harold Landry
George Kittle
Kenneth Farrow
Earl Thomas
David Johnson
Landon Collins
Telvin Smith
Everson Griffin
Melvin Ingram
Rob Gronkowski

Impending Jinx:
Andy Isabella
T.J. Hockenson
Brian Burns
Jachai Polite
Zach Allen
Charles Omenihu

Neil X
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Neil X

Well, he was right about DMC not retiring and JMC returning, so there is that.

Jdog Lemon Head
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Jdog Lemon Head

Yeah…and Max Kellerman will eventually be right about Brady falling off a cliff…

NHBruh
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NHBruh

Not if Brady doesn’t decline.

Zoocore #WeMissYouBoney
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Zoocore #WeMissYouBoney

Jeffery Simmons falls to #32: do you draft him?

cfpats4
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cfpats4

he has one knee
no thanks

cfpats4
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cfpats4

also had an incident of assaulting a female on video, Pats don’t need that right now, we are a team of integrity(well maybe not)

MrScratch
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MrScratch

While the decision isn’t necessarily surprising the timing is. I wonder if they asked him to re-do the deal and that’s what led to this.

Jdog Lemon Head
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Jdog Lemon Head

Was thinking the same thing.

PanicTime
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PanicTime

Or maybe they just asked him to make a decision so they could have a bit more certainty at the position or free up the cap space.

Jdog Lemon Head
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Jdog Lemon Head

I’m sure they wouldn’t have waited until the other day to ask him to make a decision. A sooner decision would have been better for the team.

PanicTime
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PanicTime

off course it would have been better if earlier but it was getting to a crucial point. They needed that answer before starting more financial gymnastics to free up cap space and it reportedly was affecting their ability to sign a TE.

Deadsmack #GreenShirtGuy
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Deadsmack #GreenShirtGuy

I think Pats need to pick the best players available on the board in the first 3 rounds, unless they can find a good trade.

MattDog #N'KealHarryToThePats
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MattDog #N'KealHarryToThePats

Be prepared for trading back into rounds 4-7 and drafting the best available long snapper.

rking88
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rking88

hey rob ninkovich was drafted as a long snapper…

Jdog Lemon Head
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Jdog Lemon Head

That Long Snapper will be a great locker room guy

MrLucky
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MrLucky

The Pats always pick the best players available on their board. They just never coincide with you or anyone else’s.

jdlboot14
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jdlboot14

I’m preparing for them to not even pick a TE or WR

Deadsmack #GreenShirtGuy
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Deadsmack #GreenShirtGuy

I like Irv Smith as a project, but i’m sure there will be better players on the board at #32. I like Hockenson and Fant, but both will be most likely top 15 picks.

itsBradyBaby
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itsBradyBaby

I like the Tight Ends that will go undrafted, have to think like BB.

Deadsmack #GreenShirtGuy
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Deadsmack #GreenShirtGuy

You won’t find anyone decent both as catcher and blocker there. Guys that can do it one of them well, yes. But not both.

itsBradyBaby
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itsBradyBaby

Tell BB

itsBradyBaby
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itsBradyBaby

Gronk is a asshole, I figured it all out, he will unretire on April fools day and say it was a early April fool’s joke, there’s hope Jim, lmao.

Deadsmack #GreenShirtGuy
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Deadsmack #GreenShirtGuy

Do you like Irv Smith?

Zoocore #WeMissYouBoney
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Zoocore #WeMissYouBoney

Bucky Brooks has 3 tight ends being drafted in the top 20 picks.

Deadsmack #GreenShirtGuy
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Deadsmack #GreenShirtGuy

Hockenson, Fant and Smith?

Zoocore #WeMissYouBoney
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Zoocore #WeMissYouBoney

Yep (10, 12, and 19).

Deadsmack #GreenShirtGuy
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Deadsmack #GreenShirtGuy

I don’t think Smith is worth a first round pick

Deadsmack #GreenShirtGuy
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Deadsmack #GreenShirtGuy

Mark Daniels
The Patriots are still talking with Allen Bailey, per source, as @MikeReiss said. They have some competition- Chiefs and Panthers. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Bailey make a decision this week.