Rob Gronkowski‘s contract has come up in several news cycles in recent years, the all-world tight end still being attached to a deal he signed back in 2012. But the future Hall of Fame Patriots pass-catcher said he wasn’t agonizing over the team adjusting his deal, which it did for the second straight year via incentive package. Gronk did sit out the voluntary portion of New England’s offseason program and considered retirement, but he says the drama’s in the past as he prepares for his ninth NFL season.
“It didn’t weigh on me at all,” Gronkowski said of his near-offseason-long negotiations with the Pats (via NESN.com). “Everything’s always in the works. Nothing’s just going to happen in a day, something like that. It’s in the past now. It happened last week, so it’s go time now.”
“I’m super satisfied with my situation,” Gronkowski said. “If I wasn’t, I would try to pull a move like they did. It works out. You get rewarded for holding out. But I’m not frustrated at all or anything. I’m super satisfied and just ready to go.”
- The Dolphins submitted an unsuccessful waiver claim for a Bills cut, linebacker Tanner Vallejo, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald notes. Vallejo ended up in Cleveland because of the Browns’ top waiver priority position, one they’ve used frequently over the past week. Miami also wanted to keep two of their own cuts — running back Buddy Howell and tackle Eric Smith — but saw the former land with the Texans via waiver claim and the latter end up choosing to sign with the Patriots’ practice squad instead of the Dolphins’.
- Dolphins skepticism is rampant around the NFL-following world going into this season, with Miami sitting as one of Las Vegas’ longest-odds Super Bowl propositions, but one reason the team believes it will improve from a disappointing 2017 is its offensive line. The Dolphins believe Laremy Tunsil is set for a “monster” season and that Daniel Kilgore has filled in nicely for Mike Pouncey — as both a leader and a player, Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald notes. Kilgore and Josh Sitton are now in place on a Miami front that’s endured questions about its interior line — be it Pouncey’s health or guards’ underwhelming performance — for years.
- Shifting back to practice squad gets, the Jets paid a premium for two of their 10 taxi-squadders. Defensive end Bronson Kaufusi and running back De’Angelo Henderson will make four times as much as league-minimum practice squad players will, with NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero reporting (via Twitter) Kaufusi will earn $32K per week and Henderson will receive $30K per week. The practice squad minimum for 2018 is just less than $8K weekly. The Broncos liked what they saw from Henderson in the 2017 preseason, but the 2017 sixth-round pick did not see much game action behind C.J. Anderson, Jamaal Charles and Devontae Booker. Additions of Royce Freeman and UDFA Phillip Lindsay routed Henderson out of Denver this year.
- The Jets have one of the league’s least established tight end situations, but the team is high on rookie Chris Herndon, Albert Breer of SI.com writes. A fourth-round pick, Herndon’s caught the Jets’ eye as both a receiver and blocker and is a player the team believes will be a long-term cog. Jordan Leggett, a 2017 fifth-rounder, resides as the Jets’ other primary tight end candidate after Austin Seferian-Jenkins‘ defection to the Jaguars.
Two prominent 2015 Ravens draft picks were informed they won’t be on this season’s initial 53-man roster. Breshad Perriman and defensive lineman Carl Davis, a third-round draft choice three years ago, did not make the cut.
Davis started nine games for Baltimore last season but has just 30 career tackles. He missed the entire 2016 season.
The Ravens will also cut guard Nico Siragusa, a 2017 fourth-rounder who saw an injury end his rookie season before it started. Recently coming off suspension, tight end Darren Waller also won’t be part of the Ravens’ season-opening roster.
Here is the full list of Baltimore’s cuts, the first group including the players who will head to the waiver wire:
- T Randin Crecelius
- NT Carl Davis
- RB Gus Edwards
- RB Christopher Ezeala
- DE Myles Humphrey
- DE Bronson Kaufusi
- G Cameron Lee
- WR Andre Levrone
- TE Vince Mayle
- WR Breshad Perriman
- G Maurquice Shakir
- G Nico Siragusa
- RB Mark Thompson
- RB De’Lance Turner
- TE Darren Waller
- WR Tim White
- QB Josh Woodrum
Placed on Reserve/NFI list:
The Ravens have announced four roster moves, and have trimmed their roster to the 75-player maximum. As such, Baltimore is done with transactions until this weekend, when all clubs must move to 53 men.
Placed on PUP:
Placed on IR:
- K Wil Lutz
Taliaferro will miss the first six weeks of the season, but can then be activated to the Ravens’ active roster. Kaufusi was Baltimore’s third-round pick this year.
Sadly, Bronson Kaufusi‘s season is over before it could even start. The third-round defensive end is likely done for the year thanks to a broken ankle, coach John Harbaugh told reporters on Thursday morning (via the Ravens on Twitter).
Kaufusi, a defensive end out of BYU, went on a Mormon mission before starting college and was one of the oldest player’s in this year’s class at 25 years old. Before he landed on the NFL radar, Kaufusi his split time between football and basketball. Once he zeroed in on football, he attempted to drop down in weight and shift to outside linebacker, but that experiment did not work out. Still, Kaufusi impressed as a bookend and despite projections that he would go in the fourth or fifth round of this year’s draft, he wound up being selected with the seventh pick in the third round.
Kaufusi was expected to be in the rotation at DE for Baltimore this year, supporting Lawrence Guy and Timmy Jernigan. With the rookie sidelined, there should be greater opportunities for 2014 fourth-round pick Brent Urban, fifth-round rookie Matt Judon, and Kapron Lewis-Moore.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.
The Ravens announced that they have signed third-round pick Bronson Kaufusi. Kaufusi was the team’s last unsigned rookie and the Ravens have now inked their entire 2016 draft class.
Kaufusi, a defensive end out of BYU, went on a Mormon mission before starting college and is one of the oldest player’s in this year’s class at 25 years old. Before he landed on the NFL radar, Kaufusi his split time between football and basketball. Once he zeroed in on football, he attempted to drop down in weight and shift to outside linebacker, but that experiment did not work out. Still, Kaufusi impressed as a bookend and despite projections that he would go in the fourth or fifth round of this year’s draft, he wound up being selected with the seventh pick in the third round.
The Ravens selected Notre Dame tackle Ronnie Stanley at No. 6 overall, but that reportedly wasn’t their plan heading into draft night. The Ravens were said to have Ole Miss tackle Laremy Tunsil rated as their top tackle, but the infamous gas mask bong video scared them off. For what it’s worth, GM Ozzie Newsome says that Stanley was their top-rated tackle all along. He also hinted that the team got wind of some off-field issues regarding Tunsil:
“The thing that I’m so proud of, . . . our scouts get a lot of information,” Newsome said. “When things happen, a lot of the times we’re not surprised. We took the best player, the player that was rated the highest on the board at that point. I cannot neglect the importance of the work that our scouts do in the fall and in the spring getting information for us.”
Here’s the full rundown of the Ravens’ 11-man draft class:
- 1-6: Ronnie Stanley, T (Notre Dame)
- 2-42: Kamalei Correa, DE/OLB (Boise State)
- 3-70: Bronson Kaufusi, DE/OLB (Brigham Young)
- 4-104: Tavon Young, CB (Temple)
- 4-107: Chris Moore, WR (Cincinnati)
- 4-130: Alex Lewis, T (Nebraska)
- 4-132: Willie Henry, DT (Michigan)
- 4-134: Kenneth Dixon, RB (Louisiana Tech)
- 5-146: Matt Judon, DE (Grand Valley State)
- 6-182: Keenan Reynolds, QB/WR (Navy)
- 6-209: Maurice Canady, CB (Virginia)
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.