Former New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski on Friday was named as one of the NFL’s top five tight ends in the NFL 100 All-Time Team. During the announcement, Patriots head coach, Bill Belichick, shared a story about Gronkowski’s pre-Draft visit to Gillette Stadium. According to Belichick, Gronkowski was more of a “shot in the dark” because of his bad pre-Draft visit. Belichick revealed that when they put Gronkowski in a room, he slept on the floor. “He didn't make a very good impression,” said Belichick.

However, Belichick shrugged off that one bad incident and picked Gronkowski in the second round of the 2010 NFL Draft.

The decision paid dividends as Gronkowski emerged as one of the league’s top tight ends, catching 521 passes for 7,861 yards and a whopping 80 total touchdowns in his nine-year career with the Patriots, where he won three Super Bowl rings. In his career, Gronkowski holds the records for most postseason touchdown catches by a tight end with 12 and 17 touchdown receptions in a single season in 2011. A four-time First-Team All-Pro, Gronkowski’s 79 receiving touchdowns made him third among tight ends. Gronkowski surprised the Patriots when he announced his retirement in the offseason.

Gronkowski reacts to NFL’s recognition

On his Instagram account, Gronkowski reacted to the distinction bestowed on him, saying it’s an incredible honor to be recognized as an NFL Top 100 Player.

“I worked hard, tried to get even better, and most importantly had fun while doing it,” Gronkowski said. The retired tight end also gave a shout-out to his teammates and coaches, saying “we are all champions together.” Veteran quarterback Tom Brady was one of the first to react to Gronkowski’s post as he showed love to his former tight end.

In his comment to Gronkowski’s post, Brady said the retired tight end “one of a kind in every way." “Luv u pal,” the 42-year-old Brady commented. Detroit Lions wide receiver Danny Amendola, Gronkowski’s former teammate with the Patriots commented “amazing."

Contract talks between Patriots, Caserio getting nowhere

The contract for Patriots Director of Player Personnel Nick Caserio, who started working with the team in 2008, will end after this season.

While the Patriots want to offer Caserio a contract extension, NFL Media’s Mike Garafolo reported that the talks between the two sides are getting nowhere. “So, he is going to be on the market as a GM. I’m thinking he gets a job elsewhere,” said Garafolo. If Caserio hits the market, multiple teams are expected to pursue him, including the Houston Texans and the Carolina Panthers as general manager. Earlier, the Texans said that they won’t hire a general manager after their failed bid in the offseason to pry Caserio away from the Patriots. Losing Caserio would be big for the Patriots as he has contributed in building championship-caliber squads via the trade market, free agency and the Draft.

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