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Patriots Replay Wed Aug 05 | 12:00 AM - 11:59 PM

News Blitz 5/16: Gronk and more

Free agent sack specialist Dwight Freeney, who for years gave New England fits as a Colts defender, remains unsigned and hints that he's agreeable to returning to his most recent team, the Arizona Cardinals. However, Freeney said this weekend that he's open to playing for the Patriots if they're interested, as WEEI.com explains.

"If it happened," Freeny said, "I can tell you, both sides would win."

Freeney's distant cousin, Jonathan Freeny (different spelling of the last name), is a linebacker for New England, by the way.

Interesting info from ESPN's blog about the interest other NFL teams had in Patriots draft choice Kamu Grugier-Hill prior to the draft.

"The day before the draft," the author explains, "[the Patriots] quietly flew linebackers coach Brian Flores to meet him for a private workout, mostly to confirm that he was a player on their short list to select entering the draft. Turns out the Patriots weren't alone."

Meanwhile, The Boston Globe offers some advice for Grugier-Hill and other NFL rookies on how to adjust to life in pro football, as gleaned from front office execs, agents, and a former player.

"Lease a car, rent an apartment, don't buy jewelry, don't give ridiculous amounts to your family, and don't buy tickets for everyone and everyone for every game," was just one of the recommendations in the story.

Across town, the Boston Herald has a column about how stocked the Patriots roster currently is offensively.

"If everyone's healthy," former Patriot and now NFL Network analyst Heath Evans declared in the piece, "I think (New England's offense) will be close to unstoppable if the offensive line is healthy."

Elsewhere, Seahawks QB Russell Wilson poked some good-natured fun at himself during a commencement address over the weekend, and of course he included the Patriots in his remarks. NESN.com has details.

Finally, as promised, can't leave you without some Gronk news. The Globe has a column about Gronkowski's brand being his business these days.

"Gronkowski, who turned 27 on Saturday, has become the NFL's answer to a Kardashian. He is everywhere, despite not having played a football game in almost four months," the writer asserts. "Gronk is no (tackling) dummy. He has brilliantly managed to parlay his frat boy persona and Bunyan-esque football exploits into a lifestyle brand synonymous with joie de vivre. Perceive him as a mindless, touchdown-scoring cog in Bill Belichick's football machine, but Gronkowski is a shrewd businessman."

As noted, it was the big tight end's birthday over the weekend, and his pal Tom Brady gave him a special gift via Facebook, as you'll see on Boston.com.

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