Nov 2, 2008; Minneapolis, MN, USA: Minnesota Vikings tight end Visanthe Shiancoe (81) carries the ball en route to a touchdown on his reception against the Houston Texans in the fourth quarter at the Metrodome. The Vikings defeat the Texans 28-21. Mandatory credit: Bruce Kluckhohn US PRESSWIRE

Morning Cup of Gronk

The New England Patriots and tight end Visanthe Shiancoe agreed to terms on a one-year contract, ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter confirmed via a league source.

FOXBOROUGH — Bill Belichick and his players weren’t ecstatic when they got their AFC championship rings.

There was a point during this offseason when it seemed likely Brian Waters would return to the Patriots in 2012 after contemplating retirement shortly after Super Bowl XLVI. But he wasn’t spotted during OTAs and was excused from the Patriots’ mandatory minicamp. Definitive word on Waters’ plans has not been announced, and his status will make for a lead storyline upon the commencement of camp. If he returns and plays at a level comparable to last season, the Patriots will have one of the league’s top bargain performers. Should he opt for retirement, the Patriots could be without both of their starting guards from last year to begin camp. — Field Yates

Opposing quarterbacks were often looking at one whenever they dropped back to pass in 2011.

A few topics come to the forefront when recapping the Patriots’ offseason as the team nears its first official practice of training camp Thursday.

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