New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski suffered a serious back injury and underwent surgery this past week. Some of the hotter takes in Boston have called for trading Gronkowski because sure, why wouldn’t the Patriots trade the best non-quarterback offensive player in the NFL?!
NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport is slowing some of the discussion with his latest report that states, “The Patriots have never had trade talks for Gronkowski and they feel very strongly he'll be on their team in 2017 and future years. It's one reason that in their statement, they mention his ‘long-term interests’ and noted they ‘look forward to his return to playing football for the New England Patriots.’”
Rapoport notes that Gronkowski “potentially could’ve played” in 6-8 weeks, but he would’ve been extremely limited. “The team views J.J. Watt's reherniation as a cautionary tale and didn't want Gronkowski to follow suit,” Rapoport notes. The Texans rushed Watt back from a back injury and it cost their All Pro player an entire season.
The Patriots are going to play it safe with Gronkowski, and he “could even start the preseason on the physically unable to perform list,” according to Rapoport. “But by the time the season rolls around, he should have no issues.”
Gronkowski never plays in the preseason anyways, so this is just a way to keep the tight end in bubble wrap until the start of the season.
The Patriots want Gronkowski and Gronkowski wants the Patriots. He was named a captain this season for a reason. He is a generational talent and head coach Bill Belichick won’t walk away from him until Gronkowski has proven that he can’t play anymore.