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NFL notebook: Gronkowski to miss Patriots opening workout

Sports Xchange - Monday 16th April, 2018

New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski will not attend the first day of team workouts on Monday, according to a report.

ESPN's Adam Schefter wrote Sunday that Gronkowski and quarterback Tom Brady will not participate in the first day of voluntary workouts. Brady is traveling with his family, but it is unclear why Gronkowski is not attending.

The Boston Sports Journal reported April 1 that the longer Gronkowski goes without fully committing to play in 2018, the more likely he is to be traded. ESPN reported in early April that coach Bill Belichick is growing frustrated that Gronkowski has not made a decision about his future. Although Gronkowski has hinted at retiring, team owner Robert Kraft recently said he's not worried about that possibility.

Last year, Gronkowski had a team-high 69 catches for 1,084 yards and eight touchdowns. He has 474 career receptions for 7,179 yards and 76 touchdowns.

-- Buffalo Bills offensive lineman Richie Incognito wants out of the contract he signed with the team in March.

Last week, Incognito told reporters he planned to retire and the Bills placed him on the reserve/retired list two days later. He wrote Saturday on Twitter that he wants the Bills to release him.

Since Incognito is still under contract, he would have to return his $1 million roster bonus that he agreed to on March 15. He can keep the bonus if he is cut by the Bills. The 34-year-old saw his base salary reduced from $6.325 million to 3.65 million in the new deal.

-- Tampa Bay Buccaneers right tackle Demar Dotson had surgery to repair a torn meniscus in one of his knees late last week, NFL Network reported Sunday.

Dotson started 11 games in 2017 before a right knee injury cost him the final five games of the season.

It is not clear from the report if the surgery is related to the same knee or different one. He will miss the team's offseason program but reportedly should be ready for training camp.

The team picked up a one-year option on Dotson in March. Dotson, 32, is the longest tenured player on the team. He has 76 starts in nine seasons with Tampa Bay. He started all 16 games in 2013 and 2014.

-- The Philadelphia Eagles released cornerback Daryl Worley, hours after he was arrested.

Worley was tased and arrested early Sunday morning after he was found passed out inside a vehicle that was blocking a highway, according to reports. He was tased during the 6 a.m. arrest after he reportedly became combative toward police. A gun was also recovered at the scene at Broad Street and Pattison Avenue, near the team's facility in South Philadelphia.

Worley, a Philadelphia native, pleaded no contest to misdemeanor assault in 2014 stemming from his involvement in a nightclub altercation with a woman in Morgantown, W.Va. He received a six-month suspended sentence.

-- Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly was discharged from a New York hospital on Saturday after having surgery last month to remove cancer in his upper jaw.

Wife Jill Kelly posted a photo to Instagram of her husband leaving the facility with the caption, "With a swollen smile, and a cane in his hand he was DISCHARGED from the hospital today!"

He is expected to continue his recovery in New York for the next two weeks before returning to Buffalo, his wife said.

Dr. Urken said that a screening for cancer in three months will be required for the 58-year-old Kelly, who underwent a complicated 12-hour surgery on March 28 to remove oral cancer and reconstruct his upper jaw. Doctors called the procedure a success but said the recovery would be "extensive."

-- Quarterback Dak Prescott said he didn't have the clout to influence personnel moves, such as the one that resulted in the Dallas Cowboys releasing wide receiver Dez Bryant.

"I'm in my second year," Prescott said Saturday via multiple reports. "As much as you want to say, 'I want a say-so' or this and that, those guys get paid a lot more than me. That's what those guys get paid to do. That's not my decision."

Hours after the Cowboys severed ties with Bryant on Friday, the three-time Pro Bowl receiver told the NFL Network that certain coaches and players on the team were instrumental in the team's decision to send him walking.

Prescott said it was tough to see Bryant released, saying "it's sad news. That's a brother to me. Dez is gonna be a hard guy to replace. He's a talented guy. He'll be missed."

-- The New York Giants reportedly view Penn State running back Saquon Barkley as a near-perfect prospect.

The New York Post's Paul Schwartz reported, citing an NFL scout, that Barkley is a better player than Ezekiel Elliott, who was selected fourth overall by the Dallas Cowboys in the 2016 NFL Draft. Per Schwartz, Barkley is a "far superior pass catcher" who has "absolutely no character issues or concerns."

The Giants own the second overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, which will be April 26-28 at ATT Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

USC quarterback Sam Darnold is viewed as the top overall prospect by NFLDraftScout.com senior analyst Rob Rang in his most recent Big Board. Rang lists UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen as second, followed by Barkley, Notre Dame guard Quenton Nelson and North Carolina State defensive end Bradley Chubb.

-- Denver Broncos running back C.J. Anderson told a Denver television station that he will use trade talk to motivate him this season.

Anderson acknowledged that he was aware that he "can be traded at any time" in an interview with KUSA. The Broncos begin offseason workouts on Monday.

If the Broncos cut Anderson, they will clear $4.5 million from the salary cap. The chances of that scenario happening would increase if they decide to select a running back in the NFL Draft, which is April 26-28.

Last year, Anderson rushed for 1,007 yards on 245 carries.

-- The Kansas City Chiefs will sign free agent running back Kerwynn Williams to a one-year deal, NFL Network reported.

Williams spent the past four seasons with the Arizona Cardinals. Last year, he had 120 rushes for 426 yards with one touchdown in 16 games.

Kareem Hunt is the starter in Kansas City, which also has Spencer Ware, Charcandrick West and Damien Williams competing for touches in the backfield.

-- Former Buffalo Bills star Steve Tasker will be part of a group of special-teams experts that will meet next month to discuss the future of NFL kickoffs.

Tasker, who was a seven-time Pro Bowl selection, said he thinks eliminating kickoffs "is not just on the horizon, it's around the corner."

"If they can find something they like, that will help because it is a violent play in the game," Tasker said. "It's become part of our vernacular, let's kick things off. ... But I think its days are numbered. I think they're going to come up with an alternative to the kickoff."

-- Robert Griffin III offered advice to the top quarterbacks entering the NFL Draft.

Griffin, who was the second overall pick of the 2012 NFL Draft, said the quarterbacks need to listen to their coaches. His comments for USC Sam Darnold, UCLA's Josh Rosen, Wyoming's Josh Allen and reigning Heisman Trophy winner Baker Mayfield of Oklahoma are interesting considering Griffin and then-Washington Redskins coach Mike Shanahan weren't always on the same page.

"The advice I would give them, to keep it short and frank, is (if) they are able to play at a high level in college, they can do that in the pros," said Griffin, who signed last week with the Baltimore Ravens.

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