Joel Corry of CBS Sports took a very long look at whether the Texans could possibly trade J.J. Watt. While it is not a report of anything being imminent, it does explore the idea detailed fashion, with NFL executives and agents providing their thoughts.
So what does that have to do with the Patriots? In trying to gauge Watt’s potential value, he brought up a hypothetical trade for Rob Gronkowski. After all, both players are 27-year-old superstars with back concerns and the Patriots would have the cap space to add Watt while re-signing Martellus Bennett.
As Corry put it, the idea of a Watt-for-Gronkowski swap “received mixed reviews,” with one executive saying Gronkowski is a far riskier trade acquisition than Watt.
“I can’t imagine the teams making this trade,” the executive said. “Gronkowski’s back and injury history scares me much more than Watt’s.”
Another executive was intrigued by it. He thought more than New England’s 2017 first-round pick (32nd overall) would be required in addition to Gronkowski for the deal to make sense for the Texans but didn’t specify what else would be necessary.
Gronkowski’s back issues date back to 2009, his junior and final season at University of Arizona. He had back surgery in June of 2013 and suffered a season-ending herniated disk this past season.
Watt, meanwhile, was limited to three games in 2016 by a herniated disk. He was placed on injured reserve in late September and underwent back surgery shortly after.
Even for some of the nation's top athletes, confident 20-somethings with the rest of their (perhaps very lucrative) lives ahead of them, there's a feeling you just can't shake when Bill Belichick walks into the room.
"When you first meet him, you're scared," said Ohio State linebacker Raekwon McMillan, per WBZ. "He's quizzing you. It's like a little test. But after you get done with the test, the quiz or whatever, drawing up the defense, it's pretty cool. They're real down to earth people. Really cool."
Belichick was spotted at Ohio State's pro day getting a closer look at McMillan and his teammates on Thursday. He then headed off to Ann Arbor, Michigan for the Wolverines showcase Friday.
During various scouting trips across the country, the Patriots appear to be showing significant interest in the incoming class of linebackers. Belichick spent some extra time with Vanderbilt's Zach Cunningham -- who's projected to be a first-rounder -- at his pro day. The team reportedly scheduled a meeting with a speedy linebacker from Cincinnati. And Matt Patricia caught up with Notre Dame linebacker James Onwualu once his workouts finished up on Thursday.
As for McMillan, the 6-2, 240-pounder was a second-team All-American and a first-team All-Big Ten choice. He's instinctive, but there's some question as to whether or not he has the strength to hold up inside at the next level.
Tom E. Curran has Dan Wetzel of Yahoo Sports as a guest to discuss the Aaron Hernandez double homicide trial. Wetzel has been in the courtroom, and wrote this piece about the day Hernandez’s former friend Alexander Bradley testified in court.
After speaking with Wetzel, Curran has Tim Rohan of MMQB.com on to discuss his day with ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.
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