Patriots

Does Rob Gronkowski's latest announcement officially end comeback talk?

Does Rob Gronkowski's latest announcement officially end comeback talk?

If Rob Gronkowski wants to play for the New England Patriots in this year's postseason, he needs to apply for NFL reinstatement by Nov. 30.

But it turns out Gronkowski already has other postseason plans.

The retired tight end revealed early Tuesday morning -- hours before a "big announcement" scheduled for 9 a.m. ET -- that he'll host a "GRONK BEACH" music festival on Saturday, Feb. 1, in Miami Beach.

That's the day before Super Bowl LIV, which will be played at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens.

The festival will feature big musical acts like Rick Ross, Flo Rida, DJ Carnage, Kaskade and Diplo and essentially be a six-hour-long beach party (1 p.m. to 7 p.m.), complete with "amazing food, drinks, beach performers, and more," according to the website.

Sounds like Gronkowski doesn't plan on playing a football game the following day.

"I may not be playing the game this year, but I will still be going to Miami and I'm going to be debuting my very own music festival and its Gronk Beach," Gronkowski said in a statement, via the Associated Press.

" ... Bring some wildness, some fun, to bring a music festival to Miami and not just on top of Miami, at the Super Bowl. It's really never been done like that before."

The 9-1 Patriots are the current betting favorites to win Super Bowl LIV, so if Gronkowski was mulling a return to New England, we doubt he would host an extravagant Super Bowl-themed bash that same weekend.

In an any event, if the Patriots reach their fourth consecutive Super Bowl next February, Gronk will be there -- as a very amped-up spectator.

UPDATE (9:05 a.m. ET): This indeed was Gronkowski's "big announcement," as the ex-tight end tweeted about his "GRONK BEACH BIG GAME WEEKEND" shortly after 9 a.m. on Tuesday.

As is par for the course, Gronkowski had some fun with the comeback rumors in his announcement, wrestling with a potential NFL return by pitting "Party Gronk" against "Player Gronk."

And while "Party Gronk" won out, the 30-year-old seems intent on using his potential comeback as a marketing ploy through next year.

"We'll call an audible ... but just for this year," Gronkowski said at the end of the video.

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Report: Bill Belichick was 'furious' upon learning of Patriots-Bengals video incident

Report: Bill Belichick was 'furious' upon learning of Patriots-Bengals video incident

The New England Patriots have a major distraction on their hands entering Sunday's game against the Cincinnati Bengals.

Guess what Bill Belichick doesn't like? Distractions.

The Patriots head coach was "furious" upon learning the NFL was investigating his team for illegally taping Cincinnati's sideline in Cleveland during last Sunday's Browns-Bengals game, The Athletic's Jeff Howe reported Tuesday.

New England said in a statement Monday the three-person production crew was in Cleveland to film a team scout for an upcoming episode of "Do Your Job," the team's online video series highlighting the work of staffers behind the scenes.

The production crew had no connection or correspondence with New England's football operations, the team insisted, and Belichick said twice this week he had absolutely no knowledge of their filming before he was notified of the investigation.

The Patriots still could face discipline, however, considering the production crew allegedly violated an NFL rule by reportedly training a camera on the Bengals' sideline for more than eight minutes.

According to Howe, Belichick and his football operations department also could take action.

"The Patriots have also taken steps toward handling the matter internally," Howe wrote. "Those in the production wing fear jobs are at stake."

Howe added a few more details to what we know about the incident so far, including:

-- The three-person Kraft Sports Productions crew included a full-time producer and two independent contractors (an audio technician and video technician).

-- The producer was unaware of the rule that prohibits teams from shooting video of opponents' sidelines, in part because Kraft Sports Productions has permission to shoot the Patriots' sideline during home games.

There's still no word on if or how the NFL will punish the Patriots, but at the very least, the incident has focused unwanted attention on a team that's lost two games in a row.

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Patriots Talk Podcast: Rich Eisen on 'positively absurd' Spygate 2.0

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Patriots Talk Podcast: Rich Eisen on 'positively absurd' Spygate 2.0

Like most of the rest of the NFL world, Rich Eisen of the NFL Network is amazed that we are talking about what has become known as Spygate 2.0 - the Patriots again being accused of taping an opposing teams' sideline - and the repercussions surrounding it. 

He joined Tom E. Curran's Patriots Talk Podcast to provide a little national perspective on the controversy and his first reaction was how "positively absurd" it was that the Pats are being accused of the same behavior that they were punished for back in 2007.

"If the Patriots did attempt something like this again, how remarkably brazen it would be?" Eisen told Curran. "I couldn't imagine being in that press box and seeing that happen? That's what makes it so positively absurd. How does anybody that represents anything to do with the Patriots not know you're not supposed to shoot the other team's sideline?''

Eisen predicted that the Patriots' admission of a "unintended oversight" in taping the sideline of the Cincinnati Bengals while they were playing the Browns in Cleveland on Sunday and Bill Belichick's adamant denial of knowing anything about the operation, won't prevent a hefty fine from being leveled by the NFL against the team. 

I'm sure there are a lot of people who are breathing fire at One Patriot Place," Eisen said. "Even if it was a clueless botched operation, I think the Patriots get fined. They still shot video of another teams' sideline and bottom line is that's a no-no, an absolute no-no.

"I'm assuming its a hefty fine for the team that's coming."

LISTEN AND SUBSCRIBE HERE: 

Eisen's comments come near the end of the episode. Former Patriots backup quarterback Matt Cassel joins Curran earlier and talks about how the original Spygate accusations back in '07 were a motivating factor for a Patriots team that went on to a 16-0 regular season.

"We were shocked at how it took on a life of its own," Cassel recalled. "It honestly was comical the way they took it, with people thinking we had it all figured out, we filmed them and we knew all their signs. The best thing that possibly could've happened is we came out for the rest of the season after the knowledge that Spygate took place and everyone saying 'That's why they won their Super Bowls' and we just dominated." 

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