Patriots

Rob Gronkowski wanted no part of this question about Tom Brady's future

Rob Gronkowski wanted no part of this question about Tom Brady's future

Rob Gronkowski doesn't mind stirring the pot about his potential NFL comeback.

But he's not touching the Tom Brady speculation with a 10-foot pole.

The former New England Patriots tight end recently did a sit-down interview with Sportsnet's Stephen Brunt, who inevitably asked Gronkowski if he could imagine Brady joining another team in free agency this year.

Here's Gronkowski's response:

I mean, that’s a lot of speculation out there that I don’t even know — I sometimes read it and I’m like, 'Dang, this is crazy how much speculation goes out there.' I would say that’s probably all what it is, too. It’s just all speculation and all that type of stuff. But I don't know.

He’s been with New England for 19 years now, so, it'd be — who knows. Would it be weird? I don't know. It would be weird to a lot of people I would say. ... I don’t know, man. I can’t foresee the future, so, yeah.

We'll translate Gronk's answer for you: "I really don't want to talk about this."

Here's the clip of Gronkowski fielding that question (around the 7:05 mark), which easily was the most uncomfortable part of the interview:

 

Gronk and Brady are still close friends, so we can understand why the retired tight end doesn't want to speculate about Brady's future.

It's also possible Gronk couldn't even add to that speculation if he tried, considering Brady has said he's "open-minded" about his first offseason as an NFL free agent and seemingly could go either way about leaving or staying in New England.

This probably isn't the last time Gronkowski will be asked about his former quarterback -- Gronk will be an analyst for FOX's coverage of Super Bowl LIV -- but don't expect him to provide anything enlightening.

Report: Patriots WR Mohamed Sanu needs surgery on injured left ankle

Report: Patriots WR Mohamed Sanu needs surgery on injured left ankle

With only a couple of weeks until the NFL's free agent frenzy begins, the Patriots offense is dealing with even more uncertainty heading into the 2020 season.

According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, Patriots wide receiver Mohamed Sanu needs surgery on a high ankle sprain that has not healed properly this offseason.

Sanu suffered the injury on a punt return in Week 11 against the Eagles, and even though he was only sidelined for one game, the ankle severely limited his production down the stretch last season.

LIVE stream the Celtics all season and get the latest news and analysis on all of your teams from NBC Sports Boston by downloading the My Teams App.

After racking up 10 receptions (on 14 targets) for 81 yards and a touchdown against the Ravens in Week 10, Sanu only totaled 15 catches (on 33 targets) for 114 yards and no touchdowns over New England's final seven games, including a Wild Card loss to the Titans — not the type of production the Patriots were counting on when they sent a second-round pick to the Falcons in exchange for Sanu.

It remains to be seen if the uncertainty surrounding Sanu affects the team's offseason plans at wide receiver. Right now, only Sanu, Julian Edelman, N'Keal Harry, and Jakobi Meyers are under contract for the 2020 season, with Phillip Dorsett entering free agency and reportedly already attracting outside interest.

Sanu will earn $6.5 million in 2020, the final year of his contract.

Best safety in 2020 NFL Draft had formal meeting with Patriots at NFL Combine

Best safety in 2020 NFL Draft had formal meeting with Patriots at NFL Combine

Alabama star Xavier McKinney is rated by several experts as the best safety in the 2020 NFL Draft, and he's an intriguing option for the New England Patriots with the 23rd overall pick in the first round.

McKinney told reporters Friday that he had a formal interview with the Patriots at this week's NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis.

Our Patriots insider Phil Perry actually had McKinney going to the Patriots in his first 2020 mock draft last month. Here's what he wrote about McKinney's potential fit in New England:

The Patriots have so many avenues to pursue come draft weekend. Quarterback? Sure, if Jarrett Stidham (who has impressed behind the scenes) isn't ready to take the reigns and if Tom Brady is out. Tight end? Of course, though there don't appear to be any surefire first-rounders there this spring. How about safety?

That's where I could envision McKinney (6-foot-1, 200 pounds) sliding in. He's a do-it-all type for the Crimson Tide. He plays in the box. He blitzes. He covers tight ends, which has been a problem for the Patriots at times this year. He led Alabama in tackles this year, forced four fumbles, picked off three passes and broke up five more. With Patrick Chung closer to the end than the beginning, perhaps McKinney could someday fill that type of role. A versatile, tough, consistently-productive two-year starter and first-team SEC defensive back who studied under Nick Saban? That'd be worth a first-round choice for Bill Belichick.

The Patriots had one of the league's best secondaries last season, but adding some youth to the group makes a lot of sense. Veteran safeties Patrick Chung and Devin McCourty are both 32 years old. McCourty will be an unrestricted free agent in March unless he and the team agree to an extension beforehand.

It's also possible McKinney could just be the best player available at No. 23, and even though the Patriots have more pressing roster needs than safety, it's not easy to pass on a player as talented as McKinney, especially when you also factor in the amount of high-pressure games he's played in at Alabama.

The Patriots have selected five Alabama players since 2010, and four of them were on defense, including linebacker Dont'a Hightower.

Perry's Notebook: Brady's market taking shape despite CBA uncertainty