There’s been writing on the wall signaling Rob Gronkowski’s departure from the New England Patriots.
The Patriots reportedly tried to trade Gronkowski leading up to the 2018 NFL Draft. While team owner Robert Kraft labeled these rumors as “hogwash,” Gronkowski effectively confirmed the reports by admitting he threatened retirement to ensure he’d keep catching passes from quarterback Tom Brady.
While Gronkowski managed to save the marriage for at least one more season, one talking head believes that will be the extent of the five-time Pro Bowl selection’s time with the Patriots. During Wednesday’s edition of “The Herd” on FOX Sports 1, host Colin Cowherd explained why he believes Gronkowski is in the midst of his last season with New England.
“Well, he’s only caught one touchdown pass since Week 1,” Cowherd said. “He watched this week’s game. Here’s the other troubling part: Belichick’s a data guy. The Patriots in the last two years are 11-2 without Gronk, and never forget Gronk acknowledged, ‘Yeah they were trying to trade me before the draft.’ I think it’s obvious Gronk’s no longer the best tight end in football, certainly not the most reliable Patriot and will not be a Patriot next year.”
Gronkowski still has one year left on his deal with the Patriots, so a trade would need to take place in order for Cowherd’s prediction to come true. There’s next to no chance New England releases Gronkowski in the offseason, as the 29-year-old still has high-end value despite having a worrisome injury history.
But there’s also a chance Gronkowski walks away from the game altogether. The four-time first-team All-Pro was uncertain about his NFL future following the Patriots’ Super Bowl LII loss to the Philadelphia Eagles, and it wasn’t until deep into the offseason that he finally committed to playing in 2018. And considering how tough this season has been on Gronk, he might decide enough is enough.
So while it might not be at season’s end like Cowherd anticipates, it’s safe to say Gronkowki’s time with the Patriots will be ending sooner rather than later.
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