Notebook: Gronkowski wants to work on dirt-biking

By The Sports Xchange
New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski arrives on the field to play the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl LII at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis in February. Photo by Brian Kersey/UPI
New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski arrives on the field to play the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl LII at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis in February. Photo by Brian Kersey/UPI | License Photo

New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski decided not to attend the team's offseason workouts last week.

It seems Gronkowski had a good reason not to show up at the voluntary program, although it's one that probably will not fly with Patriots coach Bill Belichick.


"Training for this dirt-biking," Gronkowski told NBC Sports Boston while attending a Supercross event Saturday at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass. "I've got dirt-biking skills to work on."

He has not been committed to returning this season. Gronkowski, a five-time Pro Bowl selection, has two years left on a six-year extension he signed in 2012. He is due to make $8 million this year and has a $250,000 workout bonus.

-- Houston Texans running back D'Onta Foreman is not expected to be ready for the start of training in camp.


The Houston Chronicle reported that Foreman may not be recovered from a torn Achilles in time for Week 1 and could open the season on the physically unable to perform list. Such a designation would keep the second-year running back out of action for at least the first six weeks of the 2018 season.

Foreman, a third-round draft pick out of the University of Texas, finished his rookie season with 327 yards on 78 carries. He also caught six passes for 83 yards.

-- The New York Jets picked up the fifth-year option on defensive lineman Leonard Williams, the team announced.

Williams has started 47 of 48 games, including all 16 in each of the past two seasons, since the Jets selected him with the sixth overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft.

He had 47 tackles, 2.0 sacks and an interception in 2017 after establishing career highs with 7.0 sacks and 68 tackles the previous season.

Williams, a Pro Bowl selection in 2016, will earn $2.975 million for the 2018 season, but his salary will soar to $14.2 million in 2019.

-- Andrew Luck has not thrown a pass in a game since the 2016 season so it's no surprise the Indianapolis Colts want to keep backup Jacoby Brissett in the fold.


Colts general manager Chris Ballard told the Indianapolis Star that he has turned down two trade offers for Brissett and does not envision a trade scenario for him.

Brissett, entering his third season, was acquired from New England in September to serve as a backup to Scott Tolzien while Luck was rehabbing from shoulder surgery. Instead, the 2016 third-round pick wound up starting 15 games for Indianapolis, throwing for 3,098 yards with 13 touchdowns against seven interceptions.

Luck told reporters earlier this month that he still has a ways to go in his recovery but the team is optimistic he will be ready for the season opener.

-- The woman who was allegedly assaulted by San Francisco 49ers linebacker Reuben Foster hired an attorney.

An attorney told the Sacramento Bee that she was retained by the victim but would not reveal the reasons why. The newspaper, citing legal experts, reported that it is unusual for a victim to hire an lawyer in such cases and could be a sign that the woman, Foster's former girlfriend, will not cooperate with authorities.


Prosecutors charged Foster with felony domestic violence, another felony for forcefully attempting to prevent the victim from reporting the crime, and a third felony for possessing an assault weapon.

Foster, who was arrested on domestic violence charges in February, is also charged with a misdemeanor for possessing a large capacity magazine.

A 2017 first-round draft pick, Foster did not participate in team activities in order to deal with his legal issues. He started 10 games as a rookie and had 72 tackles.

-- Former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick was honored Saturday by Amnesty International by giving him its Ambassador of Conscience Award.

Kaepernick last played in 2016, during which he initially sat and then knelt for the national anthem as a means to protest police brutality and racial injustice.

He opted out of his contract in March 2017, but no team signed him. He planned to visit the Seattle Seahawks this week, but the team postponed the meeting.

Kaepernick filed a grievance against the NFL in October 2017, claiming owners colluded to keep him out of the league. Commissioner Roger Goodell has insisted on several occasions that the 30-year-old Kaepernick is not being blackballed.


-- Oakland Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie does not expect any conflicts with new coach Jon Gruden in the team's war room for the NFL Draft.

With the Raiders owning the No. 10 selection, McKenzie said Friday at his pre-draft briefing that one philosophy will not change with Gruden back on the sideline: "The draft board will still be doing the talking."

Gruden was named coach in early January, leaving the broadcast booth to return to the franchise where he spent his first four seasons as a head coach.

McKenzie noted that he and Gruden have similar thoughts on players they expect to target in the draft. Gruden last coached in the NFL with Tampa Bay in 2008.

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