Monday Patriots Notebook 4/23: Gronk’s Bizarre Behavior Overblown; Patriots Brought in Jackson For Visit
It’s quiet on this Monday morning, but here are a couple of bits as we kick off the week.
Gronk’s Behavior Bizarre, But Nothing More – The backlash from Rob Gronkowski’s strange press conference on Saturday has certainly been intense by fans and the media, but after re-watching the press conference a few times, it seems like it’s turned into more than what may have been intended.
The veteran tight end walked to the podium on Saturday wearing a motocross helmet and a jersey with his name on it, and then appeared to read off of a script as he promoted a Monster Energy SuperCross event. During that time, it really appeared that Gronkowski was focused on trying to play a part while attempting to be coy with the media, which instead has many believing it was a negative message to Bill Belichick and has many wondering if he’s trying to get traded.
The media on hand was clearly not interested in the event Gronkowski was there to promote and instead asked him about whether or not he planned on attending any upcoming offseason workouts, to which he replied “no” before trying to keep it about the promotion, adding “I’ve got dirt biking skills to work on.”
They also asked about his status for the upcoming season, and Gronkowski seemingly tried to be funny and instead talked about his “vroom vroom” skills.
“My status is doing really great,” he said. “I’ve been riding dirt bikes. I’ve been training really hard. I can vroom vroom really good. I can ride that bike like no other and my speed is up there.”
When pressed, he said, “I’ve learned never talk forward. I’m just here today in the present. I’m working hard, riding these bikes, just drinking Monster Energy drinks so you can get wild, do crazy stuff that people don’t like when I do it, but I’ll just do it…get crazy.”
The latter mention of the promotion makes it seem like Gronk was more focused on doing his part for Monster to live up to his end of the deal, more so than appeasing the media who wanted to know about his football future. One would believe his agent, Drew Rosenhaus, would know better than anyone how to handle a situation like this, especially if Gronkowski really wanted to be traded. He’s already mentioned that he’ll play as long as Tom Brady is here and reportedly already has plans to join Julian Edelman for a passing camp with the veteran quarterback.
Maybe it’s nothing. But for now, aside from being his normal goofy self, Gronkowsi’s stunt simply seemed more like an ill-advised attempt to be funny than it did anything else. Time will tell whether or not Bill Belichick agrees and it’s yet another odd addition to a bizarre offseason.
Gronkowski and Brady are reportedly among those frustrated by the Butler benching.
Patriots expect Brady, Gronk back – Despite his antics over the weekend, ProFootballTalk.com reports that the team is planning on both Brady and Gronkowski being on the field in 2018.
One thing that’s mentioned is the fact that Gronkowski may be looking for a pay increase, which if there’s a hiccup in the recent reports of a new deal, that could explain part of what occurred on Saturday.
Mike Florio also reports that both Gronkowski and Brady both continue to “be salty” about the benching of Malcolm Butler in the Super Bowl, which according to many reports hasn’t sat well with players throughout the locker room, while others were frustrated with Butler and felt the move wasn’t completely unwarranted.
That remains a situation that we’ll never likely know the answers to. But for those on the team who might have any insight, if Florio’s report is accurate, it sounds like two of the more influential ones still remain frustrated by it.
Lamar Jackson in For Visit – With the draft steadily approaching, the Patriots apparently brought the Louisville quarterback in for a visit.
According to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network, the team “relatively quietly” brought Jackson to Foxboro two weeks ago, which left the organization “intrigued and impressed” with the Heisman Trophy winner. It’s an interesting move given his style of play considering their past selections, but it would give the team a player with added athleticism in addition to his other attributes from what many seem to believe is one of the more dynamic players in the draft.
Quarterback is obviously among their priorities this offseason and signs appear to point at the club being enamored enough to select him. The question then becomes whether or not it was done to throw other teams off their scent if they have another player in mind, which will likely be speculated throughout the week when it comes to who they’re really interested in taking.
Some believe Jackson will be there when the Patriots make their first pick at 23, while others seem to feel he’ll be taken well before then. With multiple first and second round picks, the Patriots have currency to move up if they so desire and it will be interesting to see which direction they go. Josh Rosen is also said to be on the team’s radar as is Baker Mayfield. As a result, it should be an intriguing draft since, unlike when the team took Jimmy Garoppolo, this appears to really be the draft where they do need to address the position.
Round one of the 2018 NFL Draft kicks off on Thursday night.
Posted Under: Daily Patriots Notebook