Patriots

Rob Gronkowski has fitting Twitter reaction to Luke Kuechly's retirement

Rob Gronkowski has fitting Twitter reaction to Luke Kuechly's retirement

If Carolina Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly needs any advice on how to handle his post-NFL career life, former New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski can give him some advice. 

Kuechly became the latest All-Pro player to retire Tuesday when he announced his decision to leave the Panthers in a video.

Many current and former players reacted to Kuechly's surprise revelation, including Gronkowski, who couldn't help making a joke after congratulating the former Boston College star on a great career.


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Gronkowski teased a potential comeback throughout the 2019 season but ultimately decided (at least to this point) to stay retired. Given the injuries Kuechly battled throughout his career, it would be pretty surprising if he thought about coming back to pro football.

When people think of Gronkowski and Kuechly, one play immediately comes to mind.

Kuechly and Gronkowski were entangled in a controversial no-call during the 2013 season when the Panthers escaped with a 24-20 Week 11 win at home over the Patriots.

Patriots quarterback Tom Brady threw a pass into the end zone targeting Gronkowski on the final play of the game, but it fell way short. Gronkowski, however, was clearly being held by Kuechly while the ball was in the air. A flag was thrown but no penalty was called, and Brady showed his frustration by confronting the referee.

With both Gronkowski and Kuechly now retired, perhaps they'll laugh about this play sometime in the near future, if they haven't already.

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Report: Ex-Patriots WR Danny Amendola to re-sign with Lions

Report: Ex-Patriots WR Danny Amendola to re-sign with Lions

Scratch that Danny Amendola-Patriots reunion.

Peter Schrager of the NFL Network reports the free-agent wide receiver is re-signing with the Detroit Lions, where he spent last season and had 62 catches for 678 yards. Former Pats defensive coordinator Matt Patricia will enter his third season as Lions coach in 2020. 

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The 34-year-old left the Patriots after five seasons to sign with the Miami Dolphins in 2018 and may have burned a bridge or two with Bill Belichick. 

It had been speculated that perhaps bringing in a former reliable Tom Brady receiver might be part of a plan to lure Brady back to New England, with a report in late January that Amendola could come along to wherever Brady lands in free agency, but a Brady-Amendola reunion in Detroit isn't happening, either. 

Next Pats Podcast: Will Patriots go mobile at QB if Tom Brady leaves?

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NBC Sports Boston Illustration

Next Pats Podcast: Will Patriots go mobile at QB if Tom Brady leaves?

There's one big question that New England Patriots are facing this offseason. Who is going to be their starting quarterback in 2020?

For the past 20 seasons, the team hasn't really had questions at the position. It has always been Tom Brady's job. But with the 42-year-old set to hit free agency, the Patriots can't necessarily count on him returning unless they want to pay him what he's worth.

So, now the question for the Patriots becomes, what will life look like if Brady departs?

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On the latest episode of The Next Pats Podcast, which returns for its first episode of the 2020 offseason, Phil Perry is here to explore that question. And really what it all boils down to is what the Patriots are looking for in a potential successor.

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As Perry notes, it's likely to be one of two types of quarterback: The traditional pocket passer or a more mobile athlete in the mold of some of the recent success stories at the position.

Do the Patriots look for the next Brady? Uber-accurate, somebody who's going to sit in the pocket and absolutely dissect every little aspect of the defense that he is looking at. Or, do they go a different route? Do they go with an athlete? Do they get more mobile? Because talking to people this offseason, I'm getting a whiff -- I'm getting a scent that people believe the pocket passer might be dead.

Perry is joined by guests including Pro Football Focus' Steve Palazzolo, Greg Cosell of ESPN and NFL Films, and NFL Network's Kurt Warner to answer questions about Brady's future and what his game has looked like in recent seasons.

For more thoughts about the Patriots offseason, check out the latest episode of the Next Pats Podcast, available as part of the NBC Sports Boston Podcast Network.