Gronkowski: 'Pretty stupid' that Deflategate saga still unresolved

Gronkowski: 'Pretty stupid' that Deflategate saga still unresolved

Rob Gronkowski, like the rest of the world, is ready for Deflategate to go away. In an interview with ESPN after it was announced that he would grace the cover of Madden NFL 17, the Patriots tight end touched on the topic of his quarterback's four-game suspension.

"It was actually a surprise -- a surprise to everyone," Gronkowski said, referring to the decision made by the Second Circuit court to reinstate Tom Brady's league-imposed ban. "I thought it was totally done. It was crazy just even seeing that happen again. It's kind of getting stupid, getting to the point where it's at now -- why it's still going on and all."

Gronkowski is confident, though, that Brady will be on the field for Week 1 of the 2016 season. Whether that's because a court has overturned Brady's suspension for a second time, or because Brady's appeal has granted him a stay on the suspension, Gronkowski didn't specify. 

He also probably doesn't care all that much as long as his quarterback is out there with him on the field. 

"I feel like he's going to be playing 16 games again," Gronkowski said. "I feel that's the way that it's been going on, and that's the way it's going to work . . . It's the same thing as last year. It's kind of just dragging on.

"It's pretty stupid to the point where it's at -- that it hasn't been resolved yet. But everyone just keeps on grinding. You've got to focus on what you've got to focus on. Myself, what I've got to focus on, is becoming the best player I can be in the offseason right now."

If Brady misses any time, third-year backup Jimmy Garoppolo would likely be the player to step in and take the starter's job. The Patriots also selected a quarterback in the third round of this year's draft, North Carolina State's Jacoby Brissett.

"No matter who's at quarterback," Gronkowski said, "you've got to be prepared and be ready to help out the team."

Eric Ebron signs two-year deal with Colts

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Eric Ebron signs two-year deal with Colts

Former Lions tight end Eric Ebron is signing a two-year deal worth $15 million with the Colts, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.

Ebron was rumored to be a potential target for the Patriots, especially after new Pats running back Jeremy Hill tried recruiting him to the team.

The 24-year-old had 53 receptions for 574 yards and four touchdowns a season ago with Detroit. 


Patriots release Shea McClellin

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Patriots release Shea McClellin

Shea McClellin will be blocking kicks for somebody else next season. 

The Patriots announced Monday they've released the veteran linebacker, ending his tenure with the team after two seasons.  ESPN's Field Yates broke the news.

The Pats signed McClellin to a three-year deal prior to the 2016 season, but that was the only season in which he played for the team. McClellin missed all of last season due to injury. Prior to coming to New England, McClellin played four seasons with the Bears, who chose him 19th overall in 2012. 

McClellin's biggest contribution with the Pats came when he blocked a Justin Tucker kick in Week 14 of the 2016 season against the Ravens.