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News Blitz 4/17: Gronkowski's uncertain status

It was widely reported that Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski were not a part of the opening workouts of the Patriots voluntary offseason program Monday in Foxborough.

It's not surprising that the absence of two of the teams' biggest stars is a story that goes beyond a 24-hour news cycle. Today, a number of outlets look at the importance of Gronkowski's complex situation in the midst of an uncertain offseason in which he apparently has spent a lot of time considering his football future.

The Boston Globe *says the Patriots special teams units are among the best in the game, and New England may have even got better in the third phase this offseason. The Globe *also notes that the Patriots hosted UCLA offensive line prospect Kolton Miller on Monday at Gillette Stadium.

The Providence Journal writes that the Patriots would be wise to draft a tight end later this month.

ESPNBoston.com notes that Julian Edelman was in attendance for the first day of New England's offseason program, the first step toward his large workout bonus.

ESPN offers up the best undrafted player in history for each NFL team, with Malcolm Butler getting the nod for New England.

NBC Sports Boston's ongoing series of prototypical Patriots prospects looks at the quarterbacks, including Josh Rosen and Kyle Lauletta.

NFL.com's Daniel Jeremiah, one of the best draft analysts in the business, has his latest mock draft, sending Alabama linebacker Rashaan Evans and UCLA T Kolton Miller to the Patriots in the first round. NFL.com's Gil Brandt offers up his top 150 draft prospects, led off by a running back.

NESN.com passes along former Patriots linebacker Bryan Cox backing Belichick in the midst of the offseason drama in New England. "I think it's a bunch of nonsense," Cox said.

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