Rob Gronkowski will miss the first day of Patriots offseason program on Monday as he continues to mull retirement, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.
Tom Brady will be absent Monday as well, but for different reasons. The Patriots quarterback will be in Qatar as part of a program for his charity, Best Buddies.
Gronkowski, on the other hand, has been contemplating his future throughout the offseason and his rift with coach Bill Belichick has been far from a secret. That makes this a story to keep an eye on as the Patriots' offseason program gets underway.
As the Eagles meet the Patriots in a preseason game Thursday night in a Super Bowl 52 reunion, their offensive tackle Lane Johnson hasn't shied away from his shots at the Pats.
Apparently not to be outdone, here's a troll job from the team's official Twitter account:
Hmmm, why choose jersey numbers 41 and 33?
No, the Patriots didn't tweet out numbers 5 and 1 to reflect the score on the number of Super Bowl championships, or tweet this picture:
We would mention it either.
Could the Patriots' first four weeks of the regular season without Julian Edelman serve as a kind of audition for Chris Hogan as he and the Pats discuss a contract extension?
Jeff Howe of the Athletic reports that Hogan, in the final season of a three-year, $12 million deal, and the Patriots have had talks but the two sides remain far apart.
Edelman will serve a four-game suspension for testing positive for PEDs and won't return to the Pats until Week 5 after playing in the preseason. Howe theorizes that the team could be looking for Hogan to prove himself in Edelman's absence.
Hogan, who turns 30 in October, caught 34 passes for 439 yards and five touchdowns last season, his second in New England, which was limited to nine regular-season and three playoff games by injuries.
Edelman, special team veteran Matthew Slater and rookie Braxton Berrios are the Patriots receivers signed beyond this season. Hogan, Kenny Britt, Phillip Dorsett and recent acquisition Eric Decker are potential free-agent receivers.