Patriots

Patriots grab long-armed DE Deatrich Wise in the fourth round

Patriots grab long-armed DE Deatrich Wise in the fourth round

FOXBORO -- The Patriots needed depth on the edge. It was maybe their only immediate need in this year's draft. And with two of their first three picks, they've created some.

They grabbed Youngstown State pass-rusher Derek Rivers in the third, and with their first fourth-rounder they grabbed Arkansas defensive end Deatrich Wise.

If the Patriots are looking for length on the edge, there are few longer than this 6-foot-5, 274 pounder. His height, weight, arms (almost 36 inches) and hands (10.5 inches) all actually stack up pretty well with Chandler Jones (6-5, 266, 35.5-inch arms, 9.75-inch hands) when Jones was coming out of Syracuse in 2012.

Wise isn't quite the same athlete (4.92-second 40-yard dash, 33-inch vertical), but he's plenty athletic in his own right and could be a steal in the fourth round.

General managers may be worried about the fact that he wasn't a full-time player in either of the last two seasons for coach Bret Bielema, but if you cram Wise's final two years together then you'll find that in about a full season's worth of snaps he had 15 sacks, 23 quarterback hits and 44 hurries in 524 pass-rush plays, per Pro Football Focus.

That's outstanding production in the country's top conference, and it serves as a sign that there's a chance Wise could quickly work himself into the rotation at end in New England alongside his college teammate Trey Flowers.

Even if he needs a year of seasoning, he could be in line to play a critical role in 2018 if either Rob Ninkovich or Kony Ealy (both in contract years) aren't back.

We chose Wise for the Patriots with the No. 131 pick in one of our mock drafts leading up to draft weekend. He was also one of the players we focused on in our Prototypical Patriots series.

Tom Brady had a great retort for 'Madden NFL 20' over high-five snub

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USA TODAY Sports

Tom Brady had a great retort for 'Madden NFL 20' over high-five snub

Tom Brady's social media game hasn't lost a step this offseason.

EA Sports released a teaser video for its "Madden NFL 20" video game that incredibly featured footage of the New England Patriots quarterback getting snubbed on a high-five attempt.

That's a pretty savage move ... and one that didn't go unnoticed by Brady, who fired back the perfect retort on his Instagram story.

Well played, Tom.

The "Madden Curse" used to be a real thing, as players like Rob Gronkowski and Peyton Hillis either got hurt or fell into obscurity after gracing the "Madden" cover. (Yes, Peyton Hillis was on a "Madden" cover.)

But Brady smashed the curse in 2017, winning NFL MVP honors after landing on the "Madden NFL 18" cover.

The 41-year-old QB also left a zinger for EA Sports in the Instagram comment section, where teammate Julian Edelman came to his defense, as well.

This is the second day in a row Brady has fired off a Madden-related barb on social media, so if you're going to take a shot at the GOAT, be prepared for battle.

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Report: 40% chance of Rob Gronkowski 'unretirement'

Report: 40% chance of Rob Gronkowski 'unretirement'

Rob Gronkowski and Brett Favre don't have much in common...yet. 

Pro Football Talk reporter Mike Florio compared the two on Tuesday after a source close to the retired tight end told Florio there's a 40% chance of Gronkowski coming back in 2019. Florio noted that a possible appeal from Tom Brady and an itch to get back to playing football could eventually sway Gronkowski out of retirement. Florio also speculates that Gronkowski may come back for the "good stuff," the end of the season and playoffs.

"For now, Gronk isn’t thinking about football," Florio writes. "He’s enjoying his life, he doesn’t need the money, and he’s having a blast. The question becomes whether Gronkowski misses his teammates and/or the games after August becomes September. While he won’t miss dealing with training camp and the preseason, he could miss the game once they start playing games that count."

Since retiring from the NFL, Gronkowski has posted cryptic messages about coming back on social media, chatted up Drew Brees at the ESPYs about apparently coming back, and caught passes from Tom Brady at UCLA, fueling comeback speculation. 

Separately, sources have told Florio that New England head coach Bill Belichick has been supportive of Gronkowski, and has developed a softer, more "player-friendly" approach as his Super Bowl rings pile up. 

Still, until Gronkowski decides definitively one way or another, the Brett Favre-esque retire-unretire speculation will continue. 

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