Patriots

Jets CEO gives great response to Patriots' Rob Gronkowski retiring

Jets CEO gives great response to Patriots' Rob Gronkowski retiring

New England Patriots fans are in a pretty sad mood Monday as they come to the realization they will (probably) never see Rob Gronkowski play for their favorite team ever again.

For fans, players and executives of rival NFL teams, however, Gronkowski announcing his retirement Sunday was something to be celebrated for the simple fact it makes the Patriots more beatable.

The NFL Owners Meetings are underway in Arizona, where New York Jets CEO Christopher Johnson gave his reaction to Gronkowski's retirement decision.

“Look it, it’s obviously good news for the Jets because he’s an amazing player,” Johnson said, per Brian Costello of the New York Post. “To take a step back, I’m going to miss him as a player because he’s absolutely magnificent. If you ever play the game like I do of if I could steal that player off that team, he’s one of the top players I’ve always wished was a Jet. Just an extraordinary man and extraordinary player.”

Gronkowski played 15 career games against the Jets in the regular season and the Patriots had a record of 12-3 over that span. He also caught 65 passes for 818 yards and nine touchdowns in those 15 games. 

We're going to imagine the Jets and their fans are happy to see Gronkowski say goodbye to pro football. That said, it's still hard to envision the Jets challenging their rival for AFC East supremacy anytime soon.

Click to read Gronk's list of NFL records>>>

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Patriots' Van Noy feels for Michael Bennett, but 'hard to argue' coaching decisions

Patriots' Van Noy feels for Michael Bennett, but 'hard to argue' coaching decisions

Kyle Van Noy feels for Michael Bennett. 

On 98.5 The Sports Hub's Zolak and Bertrand program, Van Noy was asked what it must be like for a player like Bennett to deal with a reduced role after being used to having a more regular role over the course of his career. Bennett played just 11 snaps against the Giants last week and has been suspended for having what he called a "philosophical disagreement" with coach Bret Bielema the following day.

"Man, I'm sure it's really tough," Van Noy said. "He is a really, really good football player. He wants to play. When he's been on the field, he makes really good plays. When you look at his sacks they're really good for the amount of snaps that he's played. Look at the defense, it's hard to argue anything . . . Everybody's playing really, really good. It's a fight to get reps."

Bennett has 2.5 sacks to go along with a quarterback hit and six hurries in six games this season. He's played 130 total snaps, slotting him in behind Adam Butler, Lawrence Guy and Danny Shelton as the top defensive linemen on the depth chart. 

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Deatrich Wise looked like he had worked his way ahead of Bennett last week, as he played 14 total snaps. Seven of Bennett's 11 snaps came when the score was 35-14 late in the fourth quarter.

Van Noy was dealt to the Patriots from the Lions in 2016 as he dealt with sporadic playing time despite starting each of Detroit's first seven games that year. Bennett is playing far less now than Van Noy was then, but Van Noy may have some insight into how Bennett is feeling. 

"It's a hard thing to do," Van Noy said. "You really gotta set your pride to the side and . . . that's a hard thing to do when you've been the guy at other places in your career. I love Michael and I'm going to have his back."

Bennett's one-week suspension hit the league transaction wire on Tuesday afternoon. He will lose one game check while suspended. If the Patriots plan to trade him off their roster in the hopes of recouping some value in return for the veteran defensive end, they'll have to do so prior to the Oct. 29 deadline. 

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Ben Watson thanks supporters in optimistic tweet after Patriots return

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USA TODAY Sports

Ben Watson thanks supporters in optimistic tweet after Patriots return

Ben Watson was devastated when the New England Patriots released him early last week.

It's safe to say he's in a better mood this week.

The Patriots officially re-signed Watson on Tuesday, as the veteran tight end returned to practice after a week in free agency.

The following morning, Watson used Twitter to express gratitude toward those who stuck with him following his release.

It's been a roller-coaster season already for the 38-year-old, who missed the first four games of the season while serving a suspension for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy.

Watson didn't travel with New England for its Week 5 game in Washington and was released the following day.

He's healthy and eligible to play, though, and considering the Patriots' current depth at tight end -- Ryan Izzo and the recently-signed Eric Tomlinson are the only other active tight ends following Matt LaCosse's injury -- Watson has the chance to make an impact starting Monday night against the New York Jets.

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