I’m sure by now most have seen Gronk’s "press conference" this weekend, and I can’t help but to think that he’s almost tempting Belichick to trade him. I know people will blow it off and say it’s "just Gronk being Gronk" but this felt different. And in all honesty maybe the time has come to move on.
To the casual observer he had another top season in 2017 that will be remembered when he’s inducted into the Hall of Fame, but I think the correct business decision is to trade him during the draft. To those who were really watching last year he looks like a shell of his former self - a shell that can still dominate the league - but the trend isn’t positive.
The various Patriots teams have shown that they don’t need to depend on him to win the Super Bowl. Like most of you I assumed his presence alone would almost certainly guarantee a victory against the Eagles, but even with Brady lighting up the Eagles defense it wasn’t enough. And when he was on IR vs. the Falcons we got the job done. There is no direct correlation that proves we need him to win.
That goes for everyone - Brady included.. That’s the genius of Belichick’s system. It’s not even really genius, it’s just economics. It’s understanding value and ROI. The genius of Belichick is that - while other GM’s typically resist change - Belichick embraces it. That’s what successful people do. That’s why we’ll probably regret that Kraft forced Belichick’s hand and the wrong QB was traded in the fall of 2017. Not because of 2017, or probably even 2018, but certainly for 2019 and beyond. But Belichick’s system is also the reason why I am as optimistic about 2018 as I was about 2017, 2016, 2015, etc...we have opportunities to once again "reload" in order to compete during the next 4-5 year cycle.
That reload will have to include a new QB, and if I’m Belichick I am certainly open to using Gronk’s domination of the league to set up the next decade of Patriot teams. Gronk may only net you a 2nd round pick equivalent, but if he was used with another pick (or picks) to move into a place to draft an impact player then it’s a victory for New England. One that just might get us ring #6 during this next cycle.
Enjoy the week - enjoy the draft!! Go Pats! Godspeed.