Patriots

Rob Gronkowski's agent won't rule out a potential return sometime in 2019

Rob Gronkowski's agent won't rule out a potential return sometime in 2019

UPDATE: Rosenhaus doubled-down on his statements in an appearance on ESPN's Get Up. Per Mike Reiss, Rosenhaus said that he "wouldn't be shocked if [Gronk] came back to play a few games." Here's the full statement Rosenhaus made about Gronk's return.

--End of Update--  

The New England Patriots suffered a blow to their offense on Sunday afternoon when star tight end Rob Gronkowski elected to retire. Gronk, 29, was one of the best tight ends in NFL history and one of Tom Brady's top weapons for the past decade.

While the Patriots' offense may be in a tough position without Gronk, there is a silver lining. There is a small possibility that he could return to the team.

In an interview with ProFootballTalk's Peter King, Gronkowski's agent, Drew Rosenhaus, wouldn't rule out a return at some point in 2019. Still, per King, "There's nothing to indicate a return to football now," which makes sense given that Gronkowski just announced his retirement.

It could make sense for Gronkowski to return later in the season or perhaps just for a postseason run with the Patriots. After all, he has been highly productive in the playoffs, logging 81 catches for 1,163 yards and 12 touchdowns in 14 postseason contests. And returning later in the season would keep him from taking as many hits and guarantee he would be healthy late in the year.

But without assurance from Gronkowski that he will return, the Patriots won't be able to rely on that possibility.

The Patriots are thin at tight end in the wake of Gronkowski's retirement, so expect them to address the position soon. They recently made an aggressive run at Jared Cook in free agency and have expressed interest in several of the top tight ends in the 2019 NFL Draft.

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NFL players rip league's postgame jersey swap policy for next season

NFL players rip league's postgame jersey swap policy for next season

A tradition that became popular in international soccer has become a staple of NFL postgames in recent years, but it might not be allowed during the 2020 season.

Swapping jerseys with an opponent is now commonplace in North American professional sports leagues. We often see younger players swap jerseys with veterans who they grew up watching. Former New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is a sought-after player for the postgame jersey swap. Multiple players from the Washington Redskins asked for his No. 12 jersey after a Week 5 game last season.

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Well, unfortunately for NFL players, swapping jerseys could be banned in the upcoming season as the league tries to implement social distancing measures amid the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the NFL and NFLPA have not yet agreed on all of the medical protocols for gamedays. NFL Media's Tom Pelissero reported the latest information Thursday:

Players were not pleased with this development, to say the least.

One of the most outspoken players was San Francisco 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman, who tweeted the following message. It earned a retweet from Patriots running back James White, among other players.

Many other players were not afraid to share their displeasure with the jersey swap potentially being banned. Here are some of those reactions:

With opposition so strong and coming from several of the league's stars, it'll be interesting to see if the league eventually eases up and allows jersey swaps to happen as normal next season.

WATCH: Cam Newton, N'Keal Harry meet for first workout as Patriots teammates

WATCH: Cam Newton, N'Keal Harry meet for first workout as Patriots teammates

Cam Newton is wasting no time getting to know his New England Patriots wide receivers.

The new Patriots quarterback, who officially signed a one-year contract with the team Wednesday, linked up with wideout Mohamed Sanu last week for a few throwing sessions in Los Angeles.

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This Wednesday, it was N'Keal Harry's turn to catch passes from Newton, according to Boston.com, which obtained video of the duo's L.A. workout from EBA Sports.

The video shows Newton meeting Harry for the first time as a member of the Patriots before throwing the second-year receiver a handful of passes.

Newton and Harry worked out together for about two hours and were later joined by Cleveland Browns star wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr., per Boston.com.

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Harry has been working hard this offseason to improve his game after a disappointing rookie campaign. The Patriots' 2019 first-round pick appeared in just seven games last season due to a nagging ankle injury, catching 12 passes on 24 targets for 105 yards and two touchdowns.

It's encouraging to see the 22-year-old on the practice field with Newton, who's aiming to bounce back from his own foot injury that limited him to two games in 2019.

Newton will have to beat out second-year QB Jarrett Stidham for the starting job, and it appears he's eager to get started while developing chemistry with his new pass-catchers.