The Patriots announced Friday that they will hold joint practices with the Buccaneers next month in advance of their Aug. 24 preseason game. The practices will be held in Florida on Aug. 22 and 23, and will be the second series of joint practices that New England will hold this year -- the Patriots and Saints are expected to take the field together in Foxboro on Aug. 7 and 8 before their game at Gillette Stadium on Aug. 9.

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It wasn’t a great day for the Patriots’ rookie class.



Five Patriots rookies failed their physicals on Thursday, according to Howard Balzer of Sirius/XM Radio. Seventh-round pick Jeremy Ebert and undrafted rookies Justin Francis, Matt Roark, Jeremiah Warren and Markus Zusevics all failed their physicals, according to Balzer. Ebert, a wide receiver out of Northwestern who was limited in spring camps, was placed on the active/physically unable to perform list, while the other four were placed on the non-football injury list.

The Patriots will kick the tires on another veteran tight end this week, as they will reportedly work out Visanthe Shiancoe on Wednesday in Foxboro, according to Steve Wyche of the NFL Network. The 32-year-old Shiancoe has been in the league for nine seasons, including the last five with the Vikings. The 6-foot-4, 250-pound Shiancoe has 243 catches for 2,677 receiving yards and 27 touchdowns in the NFL career, including 56 catches for 566 yards and 11 touchdowns in 2009, his best year as a pro.

The Patriots have agreed to terms with rookie linebacker Dont'a Hightower, according to Pro Football Talk, making him the final member of New England's draft class to sign.

Should we be worried about Rob Gronkowski?

Is there a reason the Patriots, according to a report in The Boston Globe, have spiked the Summer of Gronk? Is it as simple as a reminder to get ready for work, or is there something more going on?



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Patriots cornerback Alfonzo Dennard, allegedly was involved in a fight outside a Lincoln, Neb., bar on April 21, reportedly was granted a continuance in his case on Tuesday, according to a report in the Lincoln Journal Star/HuskerExtra.com, which will push his trial date to December.

Per multiple reports, the Patriots and Wes Welker have not been able to reach an agreement on a long-term deal before the Monday deadline, and the receiver will now play out the 2012 season under his franchise tag of roughly $9.5 million.

According to a report from ESPNBoston.com, it is unlikely that Wes Welker and the Patriots will agree on a contract extension by Monday, the deadline for franchise-tagged players.

According to the Associated Press, Junior Seau's family has donated some of the late linebacker's brain tissue to research. 

There had been plenty of speculation as to what would happen to Seau's brain, as questions  were raised as to whether head injuries led to his apparent suicide. The former Patriots linebacker shot himself in the chest in May.

Seau was 43 years old at the time of his death. He had been retired for two years. 

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