Notes: Lockout rock star Gronk back to business

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Notes: Lockout rock star Gronk back to business

By Tom E. Curran
CSNNE.com Patriots Insider Follow @tomecurran
FOXBORO - Gronk took the lockout by the throat and wrung every bit of self-indulgent fun he could out of it. As least that appeared to be the case. Gronk was here dancing, Gronk was there singing, Gronk was shirtless and flipping girls into the air like a flat-topped majorette. Now? RoboGronk. The second-year tight end isn't what you'd call comfortable in front of the media. Great guy but not a gifted orator. For instance, here's the answer he rolled out when asked about wide receiver Chad Ochocinco. "He's a great receiver. It was the coach's decision to bring him in. It is what it is and we're all trying to get better out here and I'm just working on my own aspect of the game just concentrating on my job to go out there and focus what I gotta do, what I gotta do to help do whatever's best for the team."Blink. Blink. Blink. Asked about his lockout domination, Gronkowski said,"That's all in the past now. Really don't matter what it is. Now we're just here concentrating on football. We're in camp and just trying to get better every day now."But he did enjoy it, no? "Cool thing was I got to be with my family a lot," he smiled. "So that was cool."The onequestion Gronkowski did warm to was aboutrecently released tight end AlgeCrumpler. "Alge Crumpler's a great guy anddefinitely gonna be missed," said Gronkowski who would often look at Crumpler before answering questions last year as a rookie."I've already missed his presence. He's a great leader andI'm definitely gonna miss him. I hope thebest for him tooin the future. He wasn't just an awesome player but he was a great guy on and off the field."Despite the high intensity fun Gronk enjoyed before football returned, he looksfresh as a daisy. A brilliant one-handed catch in the seam on a seemingly overthrown ball by quarterback Jonathan Crompton on Saturday was evidence thatRob Gronkowski, tight endlives.Gronk? He's gone for now. Albert Haynesworth will be wearing No. 92. He spent most of the morning walkthrough hearing scheme talk on the field. The Patriots worked defensively on reading the running back in draw and screen situations for a few minutes and did so out of a 4-3 set. Logan Mankins was also on the field butjust observing, not participating. Any player signed to a new dealthis year, whether it be a re-signing or a tender, cannotpractice until August 4. Deion Branch was, as usual, upbeat and informative in his session with reporters. He said that second-year player Taylor Price went through a tough rookie season under the scrutiny of coaches as he transitioned to the NFL but that he expects big things from the player who seems much more at ease. Director of Player Personnel Nick Caserio said he expects BenJarvus Green-Ellis in camp this week. He's a restricted free agent but will be back with the Patriots unless a team gives him an offer New England declines to match. On Haynesworth, Caserio said, "Alberts been a good football player in this league, hes big, hes strong, hes athletic and hes a disruptive player. I think weve always taken the approach that if the guys a good football player, well find a way to use him. In the end, its up to the player to determine what his role is going to be moving forward." Still unsigned among prominent draft choices are first-rounder Nate Solder, second-rounder Ras-I Dowling and running back Shane Vereen. Caserio was very positive about the physical and mental progress of Marcus Cannon who's coming back from lymphoma."Ithink hes still kind of going through his process. He looks great. Hes done everything hes been asked to do to this point. I think were all optimistic. I dont think were going to rush into anything. I think were going to let that timetable sort of run its course. Hes here. Hell be here. I think there are a few more steps along the way for him that hes going to have to take care of
Tom E. Curran can be reached at tcurran@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Tom on Twitter at http:twitter.comtomecurran

How does Derek Carr's new deal impact Jimmy Garoppolo?

How does Derek Carr's new deal impact Jimmy Garoppolo?

Ever since Derek Carr signed a five-year, $125 million extension with the Raiders to give him the highest average annual contract value in league history, some version of the same question has been posed over and over again. 

What does this mean for other quarterbacks looking for new deals? 

Despite the fact that Carr's average annual value surpasses the previous high set by Andrew Luck ($24.6 million), and despite the fact that Carr's contract provides him the security that alluded him while he was on his rookie contract, his recent haul may not mean much for the likes of Matthew Stafford, Kirk Cousins and other top-end quarterbacks.

They were already expecting monster paydays down the road that would hit (or eclipse) the $25 million range, and Carr's record-setting contract may not even serve as a suitable baseline for them, as ESPN's Dan Graziano lays out.

So if Carr's contract did little more for upper-echelon quarterbacks than confirm for them where the market was already headed, then does it mean anything for someone like Jimmy Garoppolo? 

Carr and Garoppolo were both second-round picks in 2014, but from that point, they've obviously taken very different roads as pros. Carr started 47 consecutive games in his first three years and by last season he had established himself as one of the most valuable players in the league. Garoppolo, by comparison, has started two games. 

Both players still hold loads of promise, but unless Garoppolo sees substantial playing time in 2017 and then hits the open market, he won't approach Carr's deal when his rookie contract is up.  

ESPN's Mike Reiss projected that a fair deal for Garoppolo on the open market might fall between the $19 million that was guaranteed to Chicago's Mike Glennon and Carr's contract, which includes $40 million fully guaranteed and $70 million in total guarantees, per NFL Media.

Perhaps something in the range of what Brock Osweiler received from the Texans after Osweiler started seven games for the Broncos in 2015 would be considered fair: four years, with $37 million guaranteed. Because Osweiler (before his deal or since) never seemed as polished as Garoppolo was in his two games as a starter in 2016, and because the salary cap continues to soar, the argument could be made that Garoppolo deserves something even richer. 

Though Garoppolo is scheduled to hit unrestricted free agency following the 2017 season, there is a chance he doesn't get there quite that quickly. The Patriots could try to come to some kind of agreement with their backup quarterback on an extension that would keep him in New England, or they could place the franchise tag on him following the season. 

Either way, Garoppolo will get paid. But until he sees more time on the field, a deal that would pay him in the same range as his draft classmate will probably be out of reach.

Patriots release camp dates; open practices begin July 27

Patriots release camp dates; open practices begin July 27

Football is coming.

The Patriots announced on Thursday that veterans will report to training camp on Wednesday, July 26 and that the first public practice will take place the following day.

Each of the team's first four practices -- from July 27-30 -- are scheduled to take place on the practice fields behind Gillette Stadium "in the nine o'clock hour," according to the Patriots. Updates to the training camp schedule, including more specific start times for practices, can be found at patriots.com/trainingcamp.

The Patriots Hall of Fame will hold its induction ceremony for former corner Raymond Clayborn on Saturday, July 29 around midday following that morning's training camp practice. Held on the plaza outside the Hall at Patriot Place, the ceremony will be free and open to the public.

The Patriots will host the Jaguars for two days of joint practices open to the public on Monday, Aug. 7 and Tuesday, Aug. 8. The preseason opener for both clubs will take place at Gillette Stadium on Aug. 10.