Patriots

Rob Gronkowski a first ballot Hall of Famer? Patriots star gives endorsement

Rob Gronkowski a first ballot Hall of Famer? Patriots star gives endorsement

Now that Rob Gronkowski has retired from the NFL, the next stop for the New England Patriots tight end is Canton, Ohio.

That's where the Pro Football Hall of Fame is located, and while there's no doubt Gronkowski one day will be enshrined there, there is some debate on how long it'll take for that to happen.

Many people would argue Gronkowski is a first-ballot Hall of Famer, and when you look at his stats and lengthy list of NFL records, it's hard to disagree with those arguments. Others will say his career statistics don't rise to the level of first-ballot induction.

One person who believes there's no doubt Gronkowski is a first-ballot Hall of Famer is his former Patriots teammate, Devin McCourty, who made his view known Sunday night on Twitter.

The most recent tight end to be inducted on the first ballot was Tony Gonzalez, who was part of the recent 2019 class.

Here's how Gonzalez and Gronkowski compare in career numbers:

Gonzalez: 1,325 receptions, 15,127 yards, 111 touchdowns in 270 games over 17 seasons
Gronkowski: 521 receptions, 7,861 yards, 79 touchdowns in 115 games over nine seasons

Let's not forget about Gronk's postseason résumé, too. He tallied 81 receptions for 1,163 yards and 12 touchdowns in 14 career playoff games, including three touchdowns in three Super Bowl appearances. His playoff stats are better than Gonzalez's, and the former Kansas City Chiefs tight end never won a Super Bowl, whereas Gronkowski has three Super Bowl rings.

Gronkowski is without question the most unstoppable tight end of his era, and when you factor in his stats, postseason performance and the matchup nightmares he created for defenses, he probably should be a first-ballot inductee. 

Martellus Bennett honors Gronk on Instagram>>>

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Tom Brady shares heartfelt message for his parents on their 50th anniversary

Tom Brady shares heartfelt message for his parents on their 50th anniversary

Tom Brady took a break from the humorous social media posts to share something more sentimental on Friday.

Brady wrote a heartfelt message on Instagram for his parents on their 50th anniversary. In the post, Brady explains the core values he's learned from his mother and father.

50 years ago today, my mom and dad were married and began the journey to start their own family. The strength of their marriage has always been an inspiration and the best example to me and my sisters of what true love, respect and commitment mean. 
Life always has its ups and downs and their togetherness in good and bad taught us teamwork. Their trust, love and dedication as parents taught us how to become the parents we are today. They have always put our family first and instilled in us the values they were taught from their parents, which we now carry on and teach our own kids. They have always encouraged us to attain milestones and we’re honored to celebrate this one they’ve achieved. We love you so much, mom and dad. Happy anniversary!!!

View this post on Instagram

50 years ago today, my mom and dad were married and began the journey to start their own family. The strength of their marriage has always been an inspiration and the best example to me and my sisters of what true love, respect and commitment mean. Life always has its ups and downs and their togetherness in good and bad taught us teamwork. Their trust, love and dedication as parents taught us how to become the parents we are today. They have always put our family first and instilled in us the values they were taught from their parents, which we now carry on and teach our own kids. They have always encouraged us to attain milestones and we’re honored to celebrate this one they’ve achieved. We love you so much, mom and dad. Happy anniversary!!!

A post shared by Tom Brady (@tombrady) on

The apple doesn't fall far from the tree.

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Prototypical Patriots: Looking at the future for interior of offensive line?

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NBC Sports Boston Illustration

Prototypical Patriots: Looking at the future for interior of offensive line?

One of the more unheralded positions of strength on the Patriots has been the interior of their offensive line.

Put dependable guys like David Andrews, Joe Thuney, and Shaq Mason under the leadership of one of the best positional coaches in the game — Dante Scarnecchia — and that's unquestionably a recipe for success.

But that triumvirate isn't going to be around forever (Thuney is set to hit free agency in 2020), and at some point, the Patriots have to plan for the future of the position.

Could this be the year that Bill Belichick looks for a succession plan in the Draft?

If so, Phil Perry has broken down which candidates in the draft pool fit the criteria that past Patriots linemen have exhibited.

Here are Phil's Prototypical Patriots for the interior of the offensive line.>>>>

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