Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski Will Not Be Limited According to Coach Bill Belichick

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Philly.com

Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski, whose 2016 season was cut short due to a back injury that required surgery, has a clean bill of health for the start of training camp, Mike Reiss of ESPN Boston reports.

“He doesn’t have limits that I know of,” coach Bill Belichick said Thursday when asked if the next challenge for Gronkowski is to absorb full contact.

Asked what he has noticed from Gronkowski’s approach returning from his back injury, Belichick added, “That was all pretty much over with by the start of the offseason program [in the spring].”

Gronkowski had been a full participant in spring practices, and said at the time that he was 100 percent. But those practices aren’t held in full pads. The Patriots’ first full-pads practice is expected to be Saturday.

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Is Rookie QB DeShone Kizer a ‘Better Bet’ to Win the Starting Job for the Browns?

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USA Today Photos

Browns rookie quarterback DeShone Kizer may be a “better bet” to win the starting QB job than second-year player Cody Kessler according to Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal.

Kessler entered training camp as the nominal No.1 quarterback for the Browns over both the rookie and free agent bust Brock Osweiler but that designation was due mainly to Kessler’s familiarity with the offense, having played in head coach Hue Jackson’s system in 2016. But Cleveland beat reporters have been banging the drum for Kizer ever since minicamp, reporting how impressive the rookie had looked and how he had significantly narrowed the gap between him and Kessler.

It is a far cry from the beating Kizer’s stock took leading up to the draft this May. Long believed to have perhaps the best raw talent of the entire QB draft class, there were whispers about arrogance and immaturity once Kizer declared for the draft after his junior year at Notre Dame with even ND head coach Brian Kelly saying that he was not ready for the NFL. Kizer slid from a surefire first-round pick all the way until the middle of the second round, when the Browns selected him at No.52. Since then Kizer has made noticeable strides in both accuracy and touch while flashing improved mechanics and earning the praise of the coaching staff.

Ulrich stresses that the quarterback competition in Cleveland remains wide open with Kessler, Kizer, and even Osweiler viewed as “legitimate candidates”. With a vastly improved offensive line and a solid if unspectacular group of offensive skill players entering the 2017 season, the Browns could be a pleasant surprise-if they get the QB situation sorted out.

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Baltimore Ravens Exploring Signing Former 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick

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The Ravens could use another arm now that it’s been determined that starting quarterback Joe Flacco will be missing at least a few weeks due to a disc issue in his back.

One name that has popped up and is sure to make major headlines is that of former 49’ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who remains on the free agent market after not signing with anyone this summer.

Would Baltimore have an interest in bringing him in? It sounds very much like they would based on a tweet Thursday from Jeff Zrebiec from the Baltimore Sun, who says that coach John Harbaugh has been chatting over the summer with the quarterback.

There’s been plenty of speculation as to why teams are not more interested in bringing in Kaepernick, but now with Flacco on the bench the Ravens might have to put anything stopping them aside to have another arm in camp this summer.

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DE Everson Griffen and Minnesota Vikings Set to Agree on Four-Year Deal

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TwinCities.Com

The Vikings and the defensive end Everson Griffen are finalizing a “massive” four-year extension to keep him in Minnesota for the rest of his career, Ian Rapport of NFL Network reports via Kevin Patra of NFL.com.

It’s the second big deal for the former fourth-round pick out of USC, who signed a five-year, $42.5 million contract in 2014. With two years left on that deal, the Vikings are adding four more years, which will keep the 29-year-old Griffen in Minnesota through 2022.

Griffen earned 8.0 sacks in 2016 with 30.5 coming over the past three seasons, since he became a full-time starter in Minnesota.

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Baltimore Ravens QB Joe Flacco to Miss 3-6 Weeks with Disc Issue in Back

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BaltimoreRavens.com

The Baltimore Ravens are already getting hit big with the injury bug, as NFL.com reports the team will not have their signal caller as camp kicks off.

Quarterback Joe Flacco won’t be ready to go for camp, as the report states that he will miss three to six weeks with a disc issue in his back.

NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport and NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reported the news Wednesday evening.

Flacco threw for 4317 yards last season with 20 touchdowns and 15 interceptions and a QB rating of 83.5.

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