Seventeen first- and second-rounders still unsigned


Seventeen first- and second-rounders still unsigned

Monday's NFL franchise tag deadline has come and gone. So what's up next on the league's calendar of expiration dates?

Circle August 7: Players under contract must report by this date to earn an accrued season. Also, teams have until this day to trade rights for unsigned drafted rookies.

If you're now wondering who's included in that latter group, you're following me brilliantly.

There are 17 first and second round draft picks without contracts.

Holdups could hinge on details like getting the fourth contract year guaranteed, getting the fifth year option included, and signing bonuses.

Here the players are, in order of when they were drafted.

First round
No. 1 - QB Andrew Luck - Colts
No. 2 - QB RGIII - Redskins
No. 3 - RB Trent Richardson - Browns
No. 4 - T Matt Kalil - Vikings
No. 5 - WR Justin Blackmon - Jaguars
No. 6 - CB Morris Claiborne - Cowboys
No. 7 - S Mark Barron - Buccaneers
No. 8 - QB Ryan Tannehill - Dolphins

No. 11 - DT Dontari Poe - Chiefs

No. 20 - WR Kendall Wright - Titans

No. 22 - QB Brandon Weeden - Browns
No. 23 - T Riley Reiff - Lions
No. 24 - OL David DeCastro - Steelers
No. 25 - LB Dont'a Hightower - Patriots
Second round
No. 34 - TE Coby Fleener - Colts

No. 39 - CB Janoris Jenkins - Rams

No. 57 - QB Brock Osweiler

(If you're interested in seeing unsigned picks from every round check out ProFootballTalk's post from July 5. Nothing has changed since then.)

Gronkowski says he has 'no doubt' he'll be ready for start of next season

Gronkowski says he has 'no doubt' he'll be ready for start of next season

When it comes to projecting Rob Gronkowski's health, it's been best to steer clear of absolutes. There have been too many injuries, too many surgeries, to predict exactly how he'll feel months in advance. 

Still, in speaking with ESPN's Cari Champion recently, he said he had "no doubt" he'll be ready for Week 1 of the 2017 regular season. 

"Yes, for sure," he replied when asked if he expected to be good to go. 

Gronkowski also fielded a question about his long-term future in the sit-down. Lately it's been his coach Bill Belichick and his quarterback Tom  Brady who receiver all the life-after-football queries, but Gronkowski, 27, was asked how much longer he'd like to play. 

"I’m not really sure," he said. "I mean, I still love playing the game, and as of right now, I want to play as long as I possibly could play. My mindset is to keep on going."

Gronkowski landed on season-ending injured reserve in December after undergoing a procedure on his back -- his third back surgery since 2009. He's had nine reported surgeries -- including procedures on his knee, forearm and ankle -- since his final year at the University of Arizona. 

Gronkowski doesn't think Goodell can visit Gillette: 'The fans are nuts'

Gronkowski doesn't think Goodell can visit Gillette: 'The fans are nuts'

At this point, there may be no getting out of it.

Roger Goodell chose to visit Atlanta twice in as many weeks during its run to a Super Bowl, and in the process he opted not to check in at Gillette Stadium for either the Divisional Round or the AFC title game. But once the Patriots won Super Bowl LI, many felt as though Goodell would simply have no choice but to attend the 2017 regular-season opener in Foxboro. 

There are those who are itching to have him visit. There are those who hope he stays away. In an interview with ESPN, Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski didn't put himself in either camp, but he seemed to suggest that it might not be the best idea for the commissioner to show his face in New England.

"To tell you the truth, I really don’t think so," Gronkowski said when asked if Goodell could come back to Foxboro any time soon. "The fans are nuts, they’re wild, and they have the Patriots’ back no matter what. They have Tom’s back. I’m telling you, he won’t get through the highway if the fans saw him. I don’t even think he can even land in the airport in Boston because Patriot fans are the best fans, they’re the most loyal fans. I’m telling you, they might just carry out Roger themselves. They couldn’t even get to the stadium in Foxboro if he landed in Boston."

Goodell hasn't been to Gillette Stadium since Deflategate, but he said during Super Bowl week that he'd be happy to visit if he was invited.