Rob Gronkowski is a lot of things. He is the best tight end in the NFL. He is the most dynamic offensive weapon in the red zone for the New England Patriots. He is a party animal. He is an overgrown frat boy. He is a wrestling fan. He is an athlete with Hollywood aspirations. He is also reportedly unhappy in with the Patriots, displeased in New England and considering retirement. Whether that is because he is sick of the mounting injuries to his back, knees and head, or it is more because blockbuster stars such as The Rock and Sylvester Stallone have encouraged him to try out for Hollywood, or it is because his good friend and WWE superstar Mojo Rawley would love to see him become the next big attraction for professional wrestling remains to be seen. But, if the rumors are true, and Gronk is that unhappy in New England, should the Patriots trade their star tight end in hopes of getting back something instead of potentially seeing him just walk away from the team, and the game, that he has dominated for quite some time now?
The short answer is… maybe.
According to a CBSSports report this morning, Gronkowski has pondered retirement for longer than just moments after losing the Super Bowl. In fact, according to this report, this is almost a year in the making:
“He didn’t enjoy himself in 2017,” said Curran on NBC Sports Boston’s nightly show, Boston Sports Tonight, on Monday. “He did not have a good time, despite the fact that his body was in a better situation than its been in a long time and despite the fact that he’s one of the most dominant players at any skill position. The atmosphere in New England is starting to wear on him physically and mentally.
“He seriously considered stepping away from the game in training camp. He had kind of had it. At that point his body wasn’t responding. He wanted to train a certain way. The team didn’t necessarily want him to train the way he wanted to train. They were at loggerheads. He was pissed.”
NBC Sports Tom Curran
And then there is more.
Aside from the first day of camp, which was held without pads, Gronkowski hasn’t made many big plays, or even seemed like himself when it comes to after plays and interacting with his teammates.
It’s hard to read much into play during training camp, but simply put: Gronkowski hasn’t looked anywhere close to himself. This has been somewhat surprising because for the first time in several years he was a full participant in all of the spring sessions and seemed 100 percent healthy for training camp.
So while it still remains unclear what, if anything is bothering Gronkowski, there’s no denying the tight end hasn’t been his normal self this summer and is a situation which bares watching over the next several weeks.
WEEI Ryan Hannable
Now, I don’t claim to know enough about the salary cap ramifications. Surely, if Gronk is committed to playing at least throughout the duration of his current contract, the Patriots could net something very nice in a return package in exchange for the top tight end in the league. Would the Pats be better off from a financial standpoint if Gronk simply walked away? I can’t answer that. But, if he is happy enough to continue playing, but would be happier elsewhere, maybe the Patriots should at least consider trading Gronkowski. I am sure that there would be no shortage of suitors.
Maybe the Pats could trade Gronkowski to the NFL for Braun Strowman, or future considerations from the XFL?