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Rob Gronkowski: ‘I’m improving every week’ 06.01.14 at 9:35 pm ET
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Rob Gronkowski address the media during his football clinic at Melrose High School. (Conor Ryan/WEEI.com)

Rob Gronkowski addresses the media during his football clinic Sunday at Melrose High School. (Conor Ryan/WEEI.com)

MELROSE — Rob Gronkowski, quarterback?

Still limited mobility-wise thanks to an ACL/MCL injury that he sustained last Dec. 9, the Patriots tight end assumed the role of signal caller this weekend, throwing passes to hundreds of kids as part of his second annual Citi Rob Gronkowski Football Clinic at Melrose High School.

Speaking to the media for about five minutes during the camp, Gronkowski joked he might be gunning for Tom Brady‘€™s spot in the near future.

“Brady better watch out,”€ Gronkowski remarked. “He knows I’€ve got an arm, too.”

Hundreds of kids attended the event Sunday morning, as Gronkowski, along with his brothers and 50 of the area’€™s top football coaches, helped instruct the camp participants in a variety of drills.

While the two-time Pro Bowler mostly focused on the event during his address with the media, he also talked about his rehab progress and the current state of the New England tight end corps.

Gronkowski acknowledged returning to host the camp has been a great way to take his mind off of rehab.

“Yeah, definitely,” Gronkowski said. “You come out here, you have a great experience with all the kids, it just takes your mind off whatever you have going on at that time.”

Gronkowski continued: “€œI’€™m just doing what I’ve got to do. I’€™m improving every week and that’€™s all that I can ask for. I’€™m just looking forward to every single day after the day that I just did. Tomorrow is a new day, it starts a new week, and [I'€™m] just looking to improve from tomorrow and there on out.”

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Read More: ACL, Dustin Keller, Jermichael Finley, Michael Hoomanawanui
Michael Hoomanawanui ecstatic to be back: ‘No place I wanted to be more than here’ 05.22.14 at 11:56 am ET
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Michael Hoomanawanui speaks with reporters Thursday at Gillette Stadium. (Mike Petraglia/WEEI.com)

Michael Hoomanawanui speaks with reporters Thursday at Gillette Stadium. (Mike Petraglia/WEEI.com)

FOXBORO — These are exciting and extraordinarily busy times for Michael Hoomanawanui. The Patriots tight end avoided a harrowing trial in free agency by re-signing with the Patriots in March for two years and $2.4 million, with $500,000 guaranteed. He fulfilled a long-time ambition and goal by flying with the Blue Angels on a 45-minute mission. He’s become a leader in the Patriots locker room.

And he’s been going back and forth to Hawaii to prepare for his summer wedding.

Busy times indeed.

But Hoomanawanui said Thursday morning, taking time from his workout program at Gillette Stadium that he wouldn’t have it any other way.

“Everything is going good. Getting ready for a wedding July 12. It’s kind of nice to be back here, get away from the planning a little bit. But it’s definitely exciting. Going to get back home this weekend, do some more planning for it. We’re almost finished and it’s a real exciting time for us,” Hoomanawanui said.

“My finance is from Hawaii and lot of my family is there, too. It should be a pretty big one, should be fun.”

But before the fun could be had, there was the business of signing back with a team that has shown faith in his skills and his underrated reliability. Was he happy to get that call from Bill Belichick in early March that the team would be bringing him back?

“Absolutely,” he said. “There’s no place I wanted to be more than here. Going into my fourth year in this offense. It definitely helps spring me into this offseason, helping the other guys and taking on a leadership role now. Going into my fifth year, sounds crazy just to say that but it’s definitely been a blessing and looking forward to an offseason of working with the younger guys and getting this thing going.

“It means the world to me for them to have the trust in me, come back re-sign me, Mr. Kraft and Coach Belichick, definitely means the world to me. When I got that phone call that they wanted me back it really meant a lot and I’m just glad to be back.”

Hoomanawanui has proved to be much more than just a serviceable tight end in the Patriots’ complicated offensive scheme. He caught 12 passes in 13 games (10 starts) for 136 yards and a touchdown last season. This came after just five catches in 2012, as he learned the Patriots’ system in his first season in New England.

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Read More: Gronk, Hooman, Michael Hoomanawanui, New England Patriots
Resetting list of Patriots and their own free agents 04.09.14 at 1:04 pm ET
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Will Svitek

Will Svitek

With Matthew Mulligan agreeing to a deal with the Bears on Tuesday, here’s an updated look at the Patriots 2014 free agent class. If you’re scoring at home, of its 12 free agents, New England has retained four and lost five, while three remain on the market.

Long snapper Danny Aiken: Signed a one-year deal to return to New England.
Running back LeGarrette Blount: Signed a two-year deal with Pittsburgh.
Defensive end Andre Carter: Free agent, but has expressed an interest in returning.
Wide receiver Austin Collie: Free agent.
Wide receiver Julian Edelman: Signed a four-year contract to return to New England.
Linebacker Dane Fletcher: Signed a one-year deal with Tampa Bay.
Tight end Michael Hoomanawanui: Signed a two-year deal to return to New England.
Tight end Matthew Mulligan: Singed a one-year deal with Chicago.
Linebacker Brandon Spikes: Signed a one-year deal with Buffalo.
Offensive lineman Will Svitek: Free agent.
Cornerback Aqib Talib: Signed a six-year deal with Denver.
Center Ryan Wendell: Signed a two-year deal to return to New England.

Read More: 2014 nfl free agency, Andre Carter, Aqib Talib, austin collie
Resetting latest on Patriots and their own free agents 03.20.14 at 3:53 pm ET
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LeGarrette Blount

LeGarrette Blount

Just over one week into free agency, here’s a status update on each of New England’s free agents:

Long snapper Danny Aiken: Signed a one-year deal to return to New England.
Running back LeGarrette Blount: No updates.
Defensive end Andre Carter: Carter has left the door open for a possible return — he expanded on his feelings in a recent interview with ESPN — but he remains in limbo, at least at this point.
Wide receiver Austin Collie: No updates.
Wide receiver Julian Edelman: Signed a four-year deal to return to New England.
Linebacker Dane Fletcher: Signed a one-year deal with Tampa Bay.
Tight end Michael Hoomanawanui: Signed a two-year deal to return to New England.
Tight end Matthew Mulligan: No updates at this time, but a league source has expressed to WEEI.com some optimism the Maine product could return to the Patriots in 2014.
Linebacker Brandon Spikes: Signed a one-year deal with Buffalo.
Offensive lineman Will Svitek: No updates, but like Mulligan, league sources expressed a belief that the Patriots would welcome him back at a fair market rate.
Cornerback Aqib Talib: Signed a six-year deal with Denver.
Center Ryan Wendell: No updates.

Read More: 2014 nfl free agency, Andre Carter, Aqib Talib, austin collie
Resetting latest on Patriots and their own free agents 03.14.14 at 12:33 pm ET
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Almost 72 hours into free agency, here’s the latest on what’s up with the Patriots’ own free agent class.

Long snapper Danny Aiken: Signed a one-year deal to return to New England.
Running back LeGarrette Blount: No updates.
Defensive end Andre Carter: Carter has left the door open for a possible return ‘€” he expanded on his feelings in a recent interview with ESPN.
Wide receiver Austin Collie: No updates.
Wide receiver Julian Edelman: The slot receiver, who reportedly left a three-year deal on the table in New England, is facing a fluid market for his services, as it’s clear his future could be tied to Steve Smith. (We explored that here.) He’s visiting with the Niners on Friday — it could be an enticing spot for the California native.
Linebacker Dane Fletcher: Reportedly took a free agent visit to Tampa Bay on Tuesday.
Tight end Michael Hoomanawanui: Signed a two-year deal to return to New England.
Tight end Matthew Mulligan: No updates at this time, but a league source has expressed to WEEI.com some optimism the Maine product could return to the Patriots in 2014.
Linebacker Brandon Spikes: Spikes is visiting with the Bills, a natural landing spot — he’s tight with former positional coach Pepper Johnson, and Johnson left New England for Buffalo earlier this offseason.
Offensive lineman Will Svitek: No updates, but like Mulligan, league sources expressed a belief that the Patriots would welcome him back at a fair market rate.
Cornerback Aqib Talib: Talib signed a six-year, $57 million deal with $26 million guaranteed with the Broncos.
Center Ryan Wendell: No updates, but the Patriots have kicked the tires on veteran Phil Costa, who ended up signing with the Colts. As is the case at other positions, both sides could be looking to read the market before making a move.

Read More: 2014 nfl free agency, Andre Carter, Aqib Talib, austin collie
Patriots announce signing of TE Michael Hoomanawanui 03.12.14 at 1:24 pm ET
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Michael Hoomanawanui

Michael Hoomanawanui

The Patriots on Wednesday made official the signing of tight end Michael Hoomanawanui, who had been an unrestricted free agent.

The team did not announce terms of the deal, although it was reported earlier in the week that it was for two years.

Hoomanawanui, 25, has played four seasons in the NFL, including the last two in New England after being picked up as a free agent in 2012.

A fifth-round draft pick of the Rams out of Illinois in 2010, Hoomanawanui is known primarily as a blocking tight end. He has 37 catches for 474 yards and four touchdowns in 43 career games. Last season he played 13 games and had 12 receptions for 136 yards and one TD. He caught three passes for 39 yards in the Patriots’ two playoff games.

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Resetting latest on Patriots and their own free agents at 10:44 am ET
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After nearly 24 hours of free agency, here’s a look at the Patriots and the latest involving their own free agents:

Long snapper Danny Aiken: Signed a one-year deal to return to New England.
Running back LeGarrette Blount: No updates.
Defensive end Andre Carter: Carter has left the door open for a possible return — he expanded on his feelings in a recent interview with ESPN.
Wide receiver Austin Collie: No updates.
Wide receiver Julian Edelman: The slot receiver couldn’t reach an accord with the team on a reported three-year deal, and he’ll test the market. One report says he has a visit set up with the Ravens.
Linebacker Dane Fletcher: Reportedly took a free agent visit to Tampa Bay on Tuesday.
Tight end Michael Hoomanawanui: Signed a two-year deal to return to New England.
Tight end Matthew Mulligan: No updates at this time, but a league source has expressed to WEEI.com some optimism the Maine product could return to the Patriots in 2014.
Linebacker Brandon Spikes: Spikes tweeted what was fundamentally a farewell note to New England on Tuesday. It’s expected he’ll draw interest as a free agent from several teams, including the Bills and Texans.
Offensive lineman Will Svitek: No updates, but like Mulligan, league sources expressed a belief that the Patriots would welcome him back at a fair market rate.
Cornerback Aqib Talib: Late Tuesday night, Talib and the Broncos reportedly agreed on a six-year, $57 million deal that includes $26 million in guaranteed money.
Center Ryan Wendell: No updates. However, it was interesting to see the news that the Patriots hosted veteran center Phil Costa on a free agent visit.

Read More: 2014 nfl free agency, Andre Carter, Aqib Talib, austin collie
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