Karen Guregian of The Boston Herald reports that Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski will hold off on a fourth surgery until it's determined that the infection in his forearm has cleared. A source close to the situation told Guregian that Gronkowski has finished his six-week course of antibiotics. He'll now wait several more weeks to make sure that the infection is gone before installing a new plate in his arm.
"Gronkowski has been battling an infection discovered during the process of his second surgery to repair the second break of his left forearm. The all-world tight end suffered the initial break during Week 11 of the regular season against the Indianapolis Colts while blocking for an extra point," writes Guregian.
If Gronkowski does undergo a fourth surgery, it could take up to ten weeks to completely heal, putting the start of his 2013 season in question.
Jeff Howe of The Boston Herald writes that Aaron Hernandez has re-directed his offseason training regiment in hopes of playing all 16 games next season. The fourth-year tight end has been in Los Angeles and has spent time with Tom Brady in an attempt to improve chemistry.
"He's the same all year round," Hernandez said of Brady. "He's trying to become the best player to play the game, and it's not bad footsteps to follow."
Mike Reiss of ESPNBoston.com writes that Julian Edelman "opened eyes" among teammates and coaches with his straight-line speed last offseason.
"So while the 5-foot-10, 200-pound Edelman might have once been viewed as more of a shifty slot receiver (many recall his fine slot work in the 2009 season finale in place of the injured Wes Welker), the Patriots began inserting him more on the outside in two-receiver packages early last year," adds Reiss. "Part of that was tied to his improved speed and strong work as a blocker."
Greg A. Bedard of The Boston Globe did a film study of new Patriots DT Tommy Kelly. He says that while Kelly is better than both Kyle Love and Brandon Deaderick in his pass rushing ability, he lags behind the two defensive tackles when playing the run.
"Probably the best role for Kelly with the Patriots will be as a situational pass rusher from the inside," writes Bedard. "That's where his strength is at this point in his career, but that's limited."
He adds that Kelly will likely play a role similar to Gerard Warren in years past.
Tom E. Curran of CSNNE.com takes a look at some of the risks involving a potential signing of restricted free agent Emmanuel Sanders.
"On the surface, it's a great deal for Sanders. He gets a raise and plays on a Super Bowl contender in an offense that makes good players look great," writes Curran. "Then he hits unrestricted free agency.
"But Sanders' risk is in leaving Pittsburgh and a system and quarterback he knows to uproot for a far more sophisticated passing game. As for numbers heading into unrestricted free agency, it could be argued that Sanders is in line for a big 2013 with the Steelers after the free-agent departure of their No. 1 receiver Mike Wallace.
"By comparison, the Patriots appear to have greater risk. They would conceivably be sacrificing a third-round pick on a one-year rental if Sanders doesn't re-sign in New England."