Rob Gronkowski has been the centerpiece of the Patriots passing attack since he arrived in Foxborough nearly a decade ago.
He's proven himself a unique weapon as a game-changing target and touchdown machine in the passing game. He's also one of the most dominating blockers the tight end position has ever seen.
Even in the midst of a relatively quiet season, Gronkowski closed out the 2018 campaign with a crucial 29-yard grab to set up the only touchdown in New England's Super Bowl LIII victory.
Despite all his accomplishments to date, and with him openly discussing the possibility of retirement at various points over the last 12 months, the Boston Herald writes that Gronkowski may not be a sure-fire, first-ballot Hall of Fame lock at this point.
"Do I think he's a first ballot Hall of Famer? No, not at the moment," Hall of Fame voter Ron Borges told the Herald. "If he continues playing, and puts up some more numbers, then maybe he becomes one. Do I think he's a Hall of Famer? He's got a very strong case."
The Providence Journal writes that the vacancies on the Patriots coaching staff are being filled rather quickly.
ESPN observes that the Chargers are "back to hating" the Super Bowl champion Patriots this offseason. ESPN also looks at the members of the Dolphins new coaching staff, many with ties to New England.
WEEI.com passes along Charles Barkley gushing about Tom Brady and the Patriots. WEEI.com looks at what the Super Bowl champs will need most. WEEI.com also notes Brady's social media post praising his body coach and business partner, Alex Guerrero.
NBC Sports Boston wonders if the Patriots could retain both Trey Flowers and Trent Brown, key cogs set to hit free agency this offseason. NBC Sports Boston also ponders whether New England should be willing to pay the price if Giants star WR Odell Beckham Jr. is actually on the trading block, as The Athletic has predicted. NBC Sports Boston passes along Barkley's "hilarious" story about interacting with Brady.
NFL.com lists Devin McCourty and Dont'a Hightower as potential surprise offseason cuts among AFC rosters. NFL.com has one player each team should study at the upcoming NFL Combine, with Stanford WR J.J. Arcega-Whiteside as the choice for New England. NFL.com has a three-round mock draft that includes the Patriots landing N.C. State quarterback Ryan Finley in the third round.
NESN.com thinks the Patriots have a complete tight end waiting in the wings.
247Sports.com notes that rookie Patriots running back Sony Michel released a new song on social media following up the team's Super Bowl win.
MassLive.com lists the 50 best player available in NFL free agency and the possible best fits for New England.