Reports: Patriots, Gronkowski working on deal

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Reports: Patriots, Gronkowski working on deal

According to several reports, the Patriots are re-negotiating the contract of tight end Rob Gronkowski. It appears nothing has been finalized just yet, and it is unclear whether the Patriots are restructuring the final two years of Gronkowski's current deal or if they are working to give him an extension.

Gronkowski, a second-round pick in 2010, is scheduled to make 540,000 this season and 575,000 in 2013, the final two years of his four-year rookie deal.

In just two seasons, Gronkowski has already solidified his position among the NFL's best tight ends. In 2011, he set records when he caught 90 passes for 1,327 yards and 17 touchdowns. He added another score on a two-yard run.

Gronkowski played Super Bowl XLVI with a badly sprained ankle he suffered in the AFC Championship Game against the Ravens. He had surgery soon after the season to repair the damage and has been seen rehabbing the injury during Patriots OTAs.

The Patriots don't often re-do rookie deals (though just last year they gave Jerod Mayo a 5-year extension before his five-year contract was set to expire at the end of the 2012 season). But it would make sense for them to either a) lock up arguably the best tight end in football with an extension or b) simply give him a raise in the final two years of his current deal in order to gain some favor and perhaps avoid a messy negotiation in two years when Gronkowski could try to set the market for players at his position.

More to come . . .

Perry's Patriots 53-man roster projection

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Perry's Patriots 53-man roster projection

With New England Patriots organized workouts finished until next month, Phil Perry puts together another 53-man roster projection.

View the gallery here

Affleck offers passionate Brady defense when asked about Deflategate

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Affleck offers passionate Brady defense when asked about Deflategate

When the topic of Deflategate was broached on HBO's Any Given Wednesday with Bill Simmons, which debuted this week, Ben Affleck became all kinds of fired up.

"What they did was suspend Tom Brady for four days for not giving them his [expletive] cellphone," Affleck said. "I would never give an organization as leak-prone as the NFL my [expletive] cellphone . . . so you can just look through my emails and listen to my voicemails?"

Affleck grew up in Cambridge, Mass. and is a passionate Patriots fan. He made no attempts to hide his fandom, and his appreciation for Brady, as he and Simmons (also a Patriots fan) discussed the football-deflation controversy that has now lasted well over a year. 

Affleck, who said he would want to cast himself as Brady if ever a Deflategate movie was made, harped on the fact that the league wanted Brady to turn over his phone. 

"Maybe Tom Brady is so [expletive] classy and such a [expletive] gentleman," Affleck said, "that he doesn’t want people to know that he may have reflected on his real opinion on some of his co-workers."

Brady is waiting for the Second Circuit to make a decision as to whether or not it will rehear his case against the NFL. Earlier this offseason, the Second Circuit reinstated Brady's four-game suspension issued by the league when a three-judge panel ruled in favor of the NFL, 2-1. 

Pro Football Talk wrote on Thursday that a decision from the Second Circuit could come at any time. If the rehearding request is denied, Brady could then take the case to the Supreme Court. Should the Second Circuit grant Brady a rehearing, his suspension would be delaed until the court reached a decision. In that case, Brady could potentially play the entire 2016 season before a decision came to pass.