The New England Patriots have reportedly been considering trading All-Pro tight end Rob Gronkowski this offseason and that seems like an awful idea.
It goes without saying, but New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick is likely the best the NFL has ever seen. He’s forgotten more about football than many of us will ever possibly know.
Yet, he and the Patriots are at least considering making a massive mistake this offseason in potentially trading one of football’s best players in tight end Rob Gronkowski.
The rumblings have been there for awhile. Perhaps it’s about Gronk being dissatisfied with his current contract. After all, he only has one year left on it. While he is the highest paid tight end in football, he ranks in the 90s in the overall pay scale. That’s right, over 80 players have higher salaries than Gronk, according to spotrac.com.
Maybe there is just friction between Gronk and the head coach, which has also been rumored. Let’s face it, Belichick doesn’t always give off the vibe of being easy to get along with. The personalities of the two men couldn’t possible be more different. Regardless of the why, the Patriots absolutely need to figure it out and make Gronk happy and whole once again.
Tom Brady is going to be 41 years old when this season starts. Even though he’s still playing at a ridiculously high level, his time as an NFL quarterback is getting closer to the end. Belichick himself has been the subject of retirement rumors, partially fueled by New England retaining offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels before he left to coach the Indianapolis Colts.
It would stand to reason that McDaniels could be the successor to Belichick (good luck with that, no pressure). So the Pats have an old quarterback and a coach who may be thinking about being done. Their Super Bowl window is small. They must win now and Gronk is a massively important piece to that goal.
Gronk has had more than his share of injuries, but when he’s on the field, he dominates. On a per game basis, Gronk averages around 70 yards, five receptions, and .75 touchdowns a game. He’s just so large and agile, teams can’t contain him. The Patriots have lost running back Dion Lewis, wide receiver Danny Amendola, tackle Nate Solder, and traded away wide receiver Brandin Cooks this offseason.
The Cooks trade was a smart now from a salary cap and draft pick perspective. It still leaves a hole on the field. Someone will have to explain to me why losing all those pieces around Brady and then trading his best remaining weapon is a good idea, because it seems very foolish on the surface. New England needs to protect Brady at all costs. Dealing Gronk doesn’t achieve that goal in the least.
New England absolutely needs to keep ground in place. They’re already on the hunt for quite a few pieces on this offense. Will the minds of Belichick and McDaniels make it all work in the end? Of course, because Brady could turn anyone into a viable receiver. There’s just no reason to make his job harder. It’s imperative for New England to have Gronkowski on the field in 2018.