Here’s a quick rundown of this morning’s top stories.
New Contract Coming For Gronkowski? – According to the Boston Herald’s Jeff Howe, the two sides are reportedly working on a new agreement, which would eliminate any concern about the “reasons” Gronkowski cited in his tweet about why he plays the game. The veteran was set to make $2.25 million this season, which was hardly commensurate with what he brings to the table in terms of his presence and ability on the field.
Another Productive Day For Patriots – Sunday might not have been the best day weather-wise, but that didn’t stop the Patriots from getting a lot of quality work in. While the rain made the conditions difficult from a ball security standpoint, Gronkowski made it look easy during much of the practice, including catching some ridiculous passes down in the red zone, including one against teammate Patrick Chung.
Joining Gronkowski in the highlight category was newcomer Martellus Bennett, with Bennett making a big grab of his own that led to the two giving each other a leaping chest bump. It’s always great to see the chemistry coming together, and it seems the two players are clearly getting along extremely well early on in camp.
Aaron Dobson had another good performance, having shined so far early on in camp and Sunday was another strong day. This isn’t much of a surprise since Dobson also performed well in the early going last year. However, the former standout from Marshall seems focused on hopefully making this his year. That would certainly be a good thing for the Patriots’ offense, as this is a team that could certainly use Dobson’s 6’3″ frame, which would give their quarterbacks another big target.
Also having a solid outing was Malcolm Mitchell, who made some terrific grabs on Sunday. However, one concern is receiver Chris Hogan, who appeared to injure his right shoulder during a one-on-one blocking drill. After trying to fight through it, Hogan spent the rest of the workout on the sideline.
Meanwhile, spotted on the stationary bike was kicker Stephen Gostkowski, who seemingly was battling a slight injury and didn’t get much work in on Sunday in the adverse weather.
The team is set to hold a workout tonight at 7pm for their annual season-ticket holder event at Gillette Stadium.
Rookie receiver Malcolm Mitchell has had some nice moments so far in camp.
Ryan has high-praise for Jones – Logan Ryan has been around long enough to know a talented player when he sees one, and he had some nice words for teammate Cyrus Jones on Sunday.
Jones has shined at times so far during camp and this year’s second-round pick out of Alabama has already started earning respect from his veteran teammates.
“I’m not one to grade people, I’m not coach (Bill Belichick). But I can just tell, the kid’s an athlete,” fellow cornerback Logan Ryan said of Jones, the 60th pick — and New England’s first — in the 2016 draft.
“The kid’s a competitor. You see that in the locker room. You see that on the field. He fits right in with what we’re trying to do, and I think the whole bunch of rookies and (second-year corner) Justin Coleman and all those guys are doing a great job of just competing every day.”
The rookie told the Boston Herald Friday that he’s comfortable with what he’s doing, which is certainly a good sign this early in camp.
“I’m comfortable (doing press man),” said Jones. “That was something coming in that I was comfortable with. So I’ve just tried to come in every day and stay consistent.”
It sounds like he’s off to a good start.
Valentine Returns After Attending Friend’s Funeral – One side story that should be mentioned was rookie Vincent Valentine, who missed practice this weekend to attend the funeral for friend and former teammate, Sam Foltz.
Foltz, who was a friend and teammate of Valentine at the University of Nebraska, was killed in a car accident on July 23rd. According to CSNNE, the rookie had to battle delayed flights and a 3-hour ride to join what was a reportedly strong turnout of about 1,500 people in Grand Island, Nebraska in support of his friend.
The former punter was headed into senior year when he was killed in a one-car crash that also claimed the life of former Michigan State punter Mike Sadler as the two were returning from a kicking camp in Wisconsin.
“I’m drained,” he told the website. “I’m jet-lagged, dehydrated, everything. But it’s worth it. I had to go back for my guy. Rest in peace to him. It was definitely worth all the trouble I went through.”
Gaffney Banking on a Healthy Season – After two injury-plagued seasons, running back Tyler Gaffney is hoping that he’s finally put those troubles behind him as he looks to make an impact during this preseason.
Gaffney pointed out this weekend that both of his injuries came on plays where he was untouched, and he’s banking on the fact that lightening won’t strike him the same way again.
“It can’t keep happening, especially because both of them were non-contact,” Gaffney told Rich Garven over the weekend. “I’ve prepared myself for it not to happen anymore and that’s all I can trust.”
He’s been working hard so far trying to do a little bit of everything, whether it’s carrying the football or catching passes. He wants to do as much as he can to make sure that he’s got a shot at helping this team wins in 2016.
“I mean you have to do it all,” Gaffney said. “The more things you can do in the NFL the better chance you have of making the team. If you just do one thing you better do that thing really good. Otherwise you have to bring multiple aspects to the game and contribute as many ways as possible.”
Posted Under: Daily Patriots Rundown