Are the Patriots still open to trading Rob Gronkowski?

New England Patriots

Rumors of the Patriots trading Rob Gronkowski have died down, but until he gets a restructured contract there’s still a chance he gets moved.

New England Patriots fans anxious to see Rob Gronkowski play a big role for their favorite team this season should hold their breath. There’s no guarantee the team won’t part ways with their All-Pro tight end before the 2018 season begins.

According to one NFL executive, until Gronkowski gets a restructured (or new) contract, there’s still a legitimate chance the Patriots might deal him. He’s an important part of the team’s prolific offense when healthy, but Bill Belichick won’t hesitate to trade him if he thinks he can make his team better.

The challenge, of course, is finding a trade partner who can provide the Patriots what they perceive to be equal value. Gronkowski is one of the most dynamic offensive players in the NFL. His pass catching ability truly transcends the right end position. He plays more like a jumbo wide receiver.

In Belichick’s eyes, his lack of durability and massive salary do a lot to bring his value back down to Earth. The Patriots have a long history of trading star players for younger pieces when they sense their decline is near. It’s possible they believe Gronkowski’s best days are behind him.

Another complicating factor in any potential Gronkowski trade is the ticking clock on Tom Brady’s career. He still played the game at a Pro Bowl level in 2017, but as he enters his age 41 season, it’s reasonable to think he’ll start to drop off soon. Taking away one of his favorite targets might serve to hasten his decline. That’s the last thing the Patriots want to do at this point in Brady’s career.

The odds of the Patriots dealing Gronkowski are still relatively small, but they certainly aren’t non-existent. Stranger things have happened in the NFL and for the Patriots. Until Gronkowski is in camp with a contract he likes, there’s always a chance the talented tight end could play for someone else next season.

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