The Patriots will have to hope for the best-case scenario with tight end Rob Gronkowski, as he is set to undergo a fourth surgery on his left forearm next week. Depending on the outcome of this next procedure, he could be ready for training camp in 10 weeks.
According to Shalise Manza Young of the Boston Globe, the infection is likely cleared, which is a positive sign for his chances of returning in a few months. After the plate is replaced, he may finally be free of any further operations on the troublesome forearm.
While the Patriots tight end made the headlines Thursday evening, what else happened around the NFL throughout the day?
New England released Love on Wednesday, but it was a short turnaround for him to land with a new team. After being diagnosed with Type-2 diabetes, the Patriots ultimately decided to go another route. They offered Love the option of a short-term retirement and a return to the team in 2014, but he chose to part ways.
Now in Jacksonville, Roy Miller looks to be his top competition for playing time at defensive tackle. Love started 24 games in the last two years after playing sparingly as a rookie.
Hoyer signed a two-year deal with Cleveland after his recent departure from Arizona. The Browns are far from set at quarterback for 2013, since Brandon Weeden and Jason Campbell aren't the most enticing options to start under center. Hoyer has been a highly praised backup for several years, but can he finally make a run at a No. 1 role?
From Dawgs By Nature:
At this point, I think the Browns are still planning on entering the season with Brandon Weeden as their starting quarterback. The signing of Hoyer intensifies a possible competition between him and Jason Campbell, though. Campbell was signed earlier in the offseason.
After earning $8 million per year, Free will now make $3.5 million for the next two seasons of his restructured contract. His awful 2012 campaign made the Cowboys decide he wasn't worth a lofty price anymore. Free allowed the sixth-most hurries last season, according to Pro Football Focus. Even the revised rate might be too steep for his talent. He'll have to show improvement to make it past 2013 with Dallas.
From Blogging The Boys:
Free had originally been scheduled to make 15 million in the next two seasons. And, according to Mike Fisher, only the first of the two years may be guaranteed. If this proves to be the case, then its a great deal for the Cowboys.
Keiser played in 12 games for the Panthers over the last two seasons. San Diego brought him in strictly for depth purposes in the wake of Melvin Ingram's season-ending injury. A mediocre player at best, Keiser shouldn't be seeing too much playing time, barring another devastating injury among the Chargers ranks.
Multiple rookies agreed to deals on Thursday. Here's a list of some of the names to sign, per Aaron Wilson of The Baltimore Sun: