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Monday, July 23, 2018

Articles tagged: New England Patriots

James Harrison: Patriots’ coaching is better than Steelers’

James Harrison

James Harrison said some things during an interview on Thursday that won’t sit well with Pittsburgh Steelers fans.

Harrison, who played his entire career with the Steelers before joining the Patriots midway through last season, says New England’s coaching is better than Pittsburgh’s. Harrison made his comments during an appearance on “The Herd with Colin Cowherd.”

“The only thing that’s really opposite is that in New England, it’s more regimented, it’s more disciplined,” said Harrison. “The coaching is better, to be honest with you. The plans they put together are better. And they don’t ask their players to do anything that’s outside of the realm of what they feel their capabilities are. So when you do that, and you switch a lot of players in and out for certain things that you want to get accomplished, you get things done and that’s what they have over there.

“I wanted to hate [Tom Brady] so bad, playing against him all those years and him getting the better of us for the most part of them, I wanted to hate him … I feel like [the Steelers system] needs to be more disciplined…”

That’s a huge endorsement for New England’s coaching staff, and it further explains why the team has been so successful under Bill Belichick. Especially consider that Harrison was a tough critic too because he entered the situation viewing the Patriots as a rival, as they had been for him his entire career. That makes his remarks carry even more weight.

The 40-year-old announced his retirement from the NFL and would probably have success with a career in broadcasting or coaching. We know one thing he probably won’t be doing in retirement — watching Steelers games.

Report: Rob Gronkowski will not hold out from training camp

Rob Gronkowski

There has been no word about a new contract agreement between Rob Gronkowski and the New England Patriots, but the star tight end apparently intends to show up to work next week with or without a restructured deal.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports that Gronkowski plans to report to the Patriots when training camp begins on July 25.

Gronkowski has openly stated that he wants a new contract, which is no surprise considering he is set to make a base salary of $8 million this season. That places him well below Jimmy Graham, who signed a three-year, $30 million deal with the Green Bay Packers this offseason.

Last year, the Patriots restructured Gronk’s contract to include more than $5 million in incentives for 2017. He ended up meeting all of them and making nearly $11 million, and he probably feels he is deserving of a salary close to that number without having to meet escalators.

There have been some rumblings that the Patriots tried to trade Gronkowski, but he says he remains committed to the team despite contemplating retirement after the Super Bowl.

Eric Decker would ‘love’ chance to play for Patriots

Eric Decker Bill Belichick

Eric Decker was relatively productive with the Tennessee Titans in 2017, but the veteran wide receiver has yet to sign with a new team as training camp approaches. He’s hoping that will change in the near future, and there is at least one team that he believes would make a lot of sense for him.

In an appearance on SiriusXM NFL Radio Wednesday, Decker made his pitch to the New England Patriots.

The Patriots let Danny Amendola walk in free agency, and they will be without Julian Edelman for the first four weeks of the season due to a PED suspension. They may feel they could use another veteran receiver depending on how some younger players perform in training camp, so there’s still a chance they could reach out to Decker.

Edelman has appealed his suspension, but the apology he gave makes it seem like he knows his chances of winning the appeal are slim to none. That doesn’t mean that will open the door for Decker, but it doesn’t hurt. If nothing else, Decker better try to brush up on his handshakes with Bill Belichick.

Report: Patriots shopped Rob Gronkowski to other teams prior to draft

Rob Gronkowski

The rumors about the New England Patriots being on the verge of trading Rob Gronkowski last Friday turned out to be unfounded, but that does not mean the team was opposed to such a deal earlier in the offseason.

Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk reports that the Patriots called other teams about a potential Gronkowski trade as recently as three days before the start of the NFL Draft. If that report and timeline is accurate, it probably is not a coincidence that Gronkowski announced two days before the draft that he met with Patriots head coach Bill Belichick and committed to playing in 2018.

At the time, Gronk openly stated that he was contemplating retirement. It’s possible the Patriots were only exploring trade scenarios for the star tight end out of fear that he might call it a career.

There have been a number of rumors over the past week about New England looking to part ways with Gronkowski, and one report said they had trade offers on the table but team owner Robert Kraft stepped in and vetoed the move because Tom Brady threatened to retire. The speculation has been so rampant that Kraft felt inclined to address it earlier this week.

Robert Kraft says report about him vetoing Rob Gronkowski trade is ‘hogwash’

Robert Kraft

NFL owners rarely comment on any rumors or speculation regarding trades and other roster moves with their teams, but New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft heard a report last week that was so outlandish he couldn’t remain silent about it.

Speaking at a community event on Tuesday, Kraft said any talk of him vetoing a Rob Gronkowski trade to keep Tom Brady happy is “a bunch of hogwash.”

Here’s the report Kraft was referring to:

There were a number of unconfirmed reports that the Patriots were on the verge of trading Gronkowski on Friday, but nothing ever came of them. We’ll probably never know if that had anything to do with Kraft vetoing a potential deal. As it stands, there are plenty of reasons to believe the Patriots are going to work something out with Gronk.

Report: New contract for Rob Gronkowski remains ‘likely’

Rob Gronkowski

Rob Gronkowski attended mandatory minicamp with the New England Patriots last week, which is a good indication that he is not planning to hold out for a new contract. The reason for that could be that the team is close to giving him one, anyway.

A source with knowledge of Gronk’s contract situation told Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk that a new deal is “likely” but “nothing is imminent.” The hold-up in talks could be that the Patriots are willing to give Gronk an incentive-laden deal like the one they gave him for 2017, but the star tight end may want an increase in guaranteed money.

Florio notes that the Patriots trading Gronkowski cannot be ruled out entirely, but all of the crazy rumors that swirled on Friday were not rooted in reality.

Gronkowski missed only two games last season (one due to a suspension) and had a very productive year, catching 69 passes for 1,084 yards and eight touchdowns. The Patriots restructured his contract for 2017 so that he had more than $5 million in incentives built. He ended up earning all of them and making nearly $11 million, which made him the highest-paid tight end in football. However, he probably feels that he should not have to earn the incentives for a second consecutive season.

Report: ‘Zero truth’ to rumors Patriots are trading Rob Gronkowski

Rob Gronkowski

The internet was briefly set ablaze on Friday with rumors and speculation that the New England Patriots were on the verge of trading Rob Gronkowski, but one of the team’s most connected beat reporters says that is not happening.

Tom E. Curran of NBC Sports Boston is reporting that there is “zero truth” to any talk of a Gronkowski trade being imminent.

For what it’s worth, one of Gronkowski’s brothers also dismissed the rumors as “fake news.”

Gronkowski has openly said that he is seeking a new contract, but the Patriots reworked his deal last season and seem open to doing the same again for 2018. Given all the drama that has unfolded in New England over the past several months, it would not have been the most stunning development for Gronk to be traded.

The latest bombshell news regarding the Patriots is that star receiver Julian Edelman has been suspended four games for a PED violation. That news actually leaked on Reddit before ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported it, and that same Reddit user may have helped spark the Gronkowski rumors on Friday.

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