Patriots

Bill Belichick had a great exchange with Rob Gronkowski over dented Super Bowl trophy

Bill Belichick had a great exchange with Rob Gronkowski over dented Super Bowl trophy

Only Rob Gronkowski could get away with vandalizing one of the most prestigious trophies in sports.

The retired New England Patriots tight end famously dented the Lombardi Trophy in April when he wielded the team's Super Bowl LIII hardware as a baseball bat at a Boston Red Sox game.

That Lombardi Trophy still hasn't been fixed, and it was on prominent display Thursday night at the Patriots' ring ceremony.

And when Gronk got his hands on the damaged goods, head coach Bill Belichick happened to be standing right next to him.

Here's how that exchange went:

We have a feeling Belichick's "nice job" remark wasn't 100 percent sincere. The Patriots head coach seemed to find the whole thing pretty amusing, though, erupting (by his standards) in laughter after quarterback Tom Brady spotted the dented trophy.

You'd be less worried about a damaged trophy too if you had five others laying around.

The dented trophy was far from the star of the show Thursday night, as the Patriots flashed some serious bling during a lavish ceremony at team owner Robert Kraft's house.

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NFL Rumors: Patriots may ask CB Joejuan Williams to play safety in 2020

NFL Rumors: Patriots may ask CB Joejuan Williams to play safety in 2020

If Joejuan Williams sees significant playing time in 2020, it may not be at his primary position.

The New England Patriots have asked the second-year cornerback to become more versatile on defense this season, posing Williams this challenge, per ESPN's Mike Reiss

"Can you be the jack-of-all-trades in the secondary?"

As Reiss wrote, that could mean Williams staying at cornerback, moving to safety or some combination of both.

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Why move Williams around? The simple reason: New England is stacked at cornerback, with reigning NFL Defensive Player of the Year Stephon Gilmore leading a four-man rotation with Jason McCourty, J.C. Jackson and Jonathan Jones.

The Patriots also are deep at safety -- Devin McCourty and Patrick Chung are the experienced starters with veteran Adrian Phillips and rookie Kyle Dugger joining as newcomers -- but Williams may be able to carve out a hybrid role as a slot cornerback or roving safety.

New England's second-round draft pick out of Vanderbilt in 2019, the 6-foot-3, 212-pound cornerback could take a cue from McCourty, who spent three NFL seasons as a cornerback before successfully transitioning to safety during the 2012 season.

Williams contributed just one pass defensed in nine games played last season, though, so he if wants to see more action in 2020, he'll need to add more skills to his tool box.

Tom Brady takes shot at Charles Barkley after 'The Match'

Tom Brady takes shot at Charles Barkley after 'The Match'

Tom Brady engaged in plenty of trash-talking with his opponents Peyton Manning and Tiger Woods during "The Match" on Sunday. But they weren't the only ones going back-and-forth with the six-time Super Bowl champion.

NBA legend Charles Barkley was a commentator for the charity golf match and didn't hold back from letting Brady hear all about his lackluster performance through the first few holes. On the seventh hole, however, the ex-New England Patriots quarterback birdied a par-5 with what was unquestionably the best shot of the day to silence Barkley. 

The real mic drop from Brady came after the match, though, when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB jabbed Barkley for his inability to win a championship during his NBA career.


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Boom, roasted.

Of course, the trash-talking was all just good fun. And it provided phenomenal entertainment while those involved in "The Match" helped raise more than $20 million to go toward COVID-19 relief efforts.