NFL news: Rob Gronkowski schedules back surgery, Brian Cushing returns soon
New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski will have back surgery on Tuesday. The surgery has been long-rumored, but Friday was the first time we received a date for what has been described as a "minor" procedure. It's the fifth surgery since November for Gronkowski, but his recovery time should overlap with his previous forearm surgery and he shouldn't miss extra time.
Here's what else you might have missed from Friday in the NFL:
New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz signed his one-year restricted free agent tender on Friday, in advance of a deadline that could have seen his 2013 salary decrease from $2.879 million to $630,000. If Cruz doesn't show up to mandatory practices from now on, he gets docked pay, so he'll be there when it matters. That said, he's not going to be happy if they don't get a long-term deal done sooner rather than later.
As noted by Big Blue View, there's not a whole lot of money left this year, and the Giants are risking their top two receivers hitting the open market after next season:
The Giants currently have slightly more than $3.3 million in salary cap space for 2013, including the Cruz tender. If Cruz and the Giants are unable to come to a deal it looks like they will head into next offseason with both Cruz and Hakeem Nicks eligible to head into free agency.
The New York Jets worked out tight end Kellen Winslow this week, inviting him to minicamp on a tryout basis. On Friday, the Jets officially signed Winslow to a one-year contract. It will be interesting to see what Winslow can bring to the table, as the Jets are lacking any other options at the position after Dustin Keller departed in free agency.
As noted by Gang Green Nation, this all depends on whether or not Winslow can stay healthy:
The question is whether Winslow is healthy. He impressed enough during a tryout this week to get a contract, but can he hold up for an entire season with his knee issues? For the Jets' sake, let's hope so. If Winslow is healthy, he is probably going to be a featured part of the passing game given how little else there is.
ESPN's Chris Mortensen suggested that Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning has "at least" two more years left in him. That's a bold prediction to make, given that Manning's career was in doubt at this point last year, and the fact that he's got a decade-and-a-half of wear on him.
Seattle Seahawks cornerback Brandon Browner wasn't too keen on San Francsico 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh and his statements on PED use in the NFL. Harbaugh said that we never know if a player was taking Adderall or something much worse, and that he noticed the Seahawks had been busted more than other teams. Browner's reply? He suggested that he'd like to put his hands around Harbaugh's neck. Yep.
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