By Phil Perry
The Patriots may very soon have a whole new appreciation for Mrs. Gronkowski as it looks like their locker room is about to house another one of her sons.
According to tweets from two of Rob Gronkowski's brothers, Glenn and Chris, Dan Gronkowski will join his brother Rob in New England. Dan, also a tight end, was cut last week by the Denver Broncos.
Chris Gronkowski, who was recently picked up by the Colts, tweeted: "Congrats to my bro @DGronko! There will now be two gronks in new England!"
Earlier in the afternoon, Glenn, a football player at Kansas State, tweeted: "@DGronko is officially a New England Patriot! Gronkk bros tearing up NE! unstoppable superbowl SOOOOO HYPED!!!"
Bill Belichick probably isn't all that hyped that the Gronkowski family is breaking news on Twitter before the Patriots have a chance to make an announcement, but there's something about the family that Belichick must appreciate.
Gronkowski, who is four years older than his brother Rob, will help give the Patriots depth at tight end after the team released tight ends Will Yeatman and Lee Smith last week. He played in 12 games with the Broncos last season, catching eight passes for 65 yards.
PHOENIX - When league owners, coaches and executives come together for the NFL's annual meetings, those meetings are often devoid of those who have the biggest say in making the product what it is.
The guys who play.
Brandon Marshall, newly-acquired wide receiver of the Giants, had an opportunity to provide the meetings with a player's perspective on Monday morning.
The focus, he told reporters after addressing owners, was to highlight the importance of continuing to foster stronger relationships between the league and its players.
It seemed to go over well, judging by a tweet sent out from Niners owner Jed York.
"I think it's important for us to continue to do things like we did last year giving the players more of a voice," Marshall said. "You saw the campaign during Week 13 last year, My Cause My Cleats. That was super successful. It gave the world and our fans and the NFL the opportunity to see that we are people, we're not just gladiators. It humanized us.
"It not only gave people outside of the game that opportunity to see who we really were but also people in the game like owners, executives and even players. . .We want to continue to do more of that. If we want our game to continue to be on this track that it's on, being super successful, as far as being a pillar in the community, then we need to make sure that our relationships between players and owners is healthy."
Day 2 of the owners meetings will be highlighted by a decision on the fate of the Raiders franchise. The team is expected to have enough support from owners around the league to uproot and head to Las Vegas.
Around midday in Phoenix, Patriots owner Robert Kraft is expected to speak to reporters about league affairs as well as his team's offseason activity.
Speaking to reporters at the NFL owners meetings in Arizona, Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert touched briefly on the team’s unsuccessful attempt to lure Dont’a Hightower away from New England in free agency.
Hightower returned to the Patriots this month on a four-year, $43.5 million deal with $19 million guaranteed. He was also courted by the Jets and Steelers, among others, with his offer from the Jets reported to be the biggest before they reportedly pulled it due to physical concerns.
The Steelers also reportedly offered more money than the Patriots, with Jason La Canfora reporting that Pittsburgh offered more than $9 million annually. Hightower’s deal with the Pats pays him $8.7 million per year.
“We made an attempt [with Hightower], it didn’t work,” Colbert told reporters. “We’re fine. We move on. Vince Williams, we were very confident in Vince. That’s why we signed him to the extension last year. So that if we got to this point and Lawrence had left us, and we didn’t sign anybody from the outside, Vince was certainly capable of stepping up and being the next guy.”
Hightower is entering his sixth season with the Patriots, who selected him with the 25th overall pick in the 2012 draft.