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Hear the joke about the Patriots TE and the adult film star?

OK, we're going to tread lightly with this one since we enjoy both the financial and psychological benefits of being employed.

Rob Gronkowski has a friend ... who has a friend ... who's a featured performer in films of the, ahem, "adult" persuasion.

(So far, so good.)

During the Patriots' bye week, the tight end was in Arizona, where he posed for a picture with the mutual bud, Bibi Jones. In some of the photos, Gronkowski is shirtless, while Jones is wearing his home Patriots jersey.

Jones tweeted the photo -- with Gronk's blessing -- which we cannot link out to on account of the whole "employment" thing. This naturally created a stir that Gronkowski apparently, somehow, almost impossibly, didn't see coming.

On Wednesday, he addressed the issue with the media.

"I mean, I didn't intend anything to hurt the reputation of anyone on the New England Patriots or on behalf of (team owner) Robert Kraft," Gronkowski said, according to The Associated Press. "It was a simple picture. That's all. I'm here now. I'm here to talk about the Pittsburgh Steelers and the big game this weekend."

Gronkowski said he spoke with Kraft about the photos, which we're sure went really well.

Patriots quarterback Tom Brady actually was relieved when he heard about the controversy.

"I'm just glad I'm no longer the one that people are making fun of on my team on a daily basis," Brady said Tuesday on WEEI-AM. "Gronk has definitely pulled into the lead there."

We have roughly 400 jokes to make on this topic -- many of them grossly inappropriate -- so, yeah, how about that Patriots-Steelers matchup?

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