FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — The Super Bowl champion New England Patriots are back at work, and things are already a lot quieter.

Rob Gronkowski has retired, and the locker room is a more serious place without the fun-loving tight end who once declared himself the life of the party – in garbled Spanish.

“There’s only one Gronk,” running back James White said on Wednesday, when the Patriots reported for training camp. “You can’t replace that personality. He’s a great football player, but you’ve got to play with who’s out here.”

A four-time All-Pro who was too fast for linebackers to cover and too big for defensive backs to bring down, the 6-foot-6, 265-pound Gronkowski caught 521 passes for 7,861 yards and 79 touchdowns in an injury-plagued nine-year career. He helped the Patriots reach the Super Bowl five times, winning three rings.

He was also a larger-than-life personality known for emphatically spiking the ball after a touchdown catch; he once tried to do the same with an opponent, explaining after drawing a penalty “I took him and threw him out of the club.”

Gronk’s offseason partying – thrice starting with the Super Bowl postgame events – was a staple of social media, and he once announced in the locker room after a win: “Yo soy fiesta!”


“Rob was one-of-a-kind, obviously, on the field, with what he’s able to do as a player. We see that each and every week over the last nine years,” special teams captain Matthew Slater said.

“His fun-loving spirit and personality, and his child-like joy that he brought each and every day to the workplace. His humility – just a genuine human being – certainly, those things are hard to come by in today’s time, so we’ll miss that.”

JAGUARS: Jalen Ramsey crouched in the back of an armored truck, peered through a small window and waited for his introduction.

The two-time Pro Bowl cornerback then flung open both doors, revealing dozens of phony bank money bags and a huge smile.

Ramsey put on quite a show as his team reported for training camp. The performance likely serves as the start of a yearlong push for a new deal.

“It’s time to get this money, money,” the driver said into a megaphone as Ramsey exited the vehicle.


Ramsey, one of league’s top corners, is entering the last year of his $23.3 million rookie contract. The Jaguars exercised the fifth-year option in the deal, meaning he’s tied to the club for $13.7 million in 2020, and the team has already said it won’t give him an extension with two years left.

But Ramsey made it clear with his grand entrance that he expects to get paid handsomely – sooner rather than later.

JETS: Defensive lineman Quinnen Williams, the No. 3 overall pick in April, remained unsigned Wednesday and was not among the players who reported for training camp.

Williams is slotted to receive a four-year deal worth $32.6 million, guaranteed, with a fifth-year team option. The sticking point appears to be the schedule of how the former Alabama star’s signing bonus – about $21.7 million – will be paid.

CHARGERS: Melvin Gordon is officially a holdout.

The team placed its top running back on the reserve/did not report list as players went through physicals and meetings. Gordon is entering the final year of a rookie contract and will earn $5.6 million.


PANTHERS: While Cam Newton has been medically cleared to throw at training camp following offseason shoulder surgery, Coach Ron Rivera said the team’s training staff will closely monitor the quarterback’s reps, and coaches will script his plays daily.

TITANS: Three-time Pro Bowl left tackle Taylor Lewan says he has been suspended for the first four games of the season for violating the league’s policy on performance enhancers.

BUCCANEERS: Tampa Bay will open training camp with Jason Pierre-Paul on the active/non-football injury list.
The 10th-year pro suffered a neck fracture in a single-car crash near his home in South Florida on May 2 and his status for the season is uncertain.

GIANTS: The team received a commissioner’s exemption for suspended defensive back Kamrin Moore, meaning he will not count against the team’s 90-man camp roster.

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