The New England Patriots and Rob Gronkowski have still not reached an extension, despite months of requests from the tight end. Gronkowski is arguably the most valuable non-quarterback on offense in the entire NFL and he wants to be paid like one.
There were rumors that the Patriots were interested in trading Gronkowski around the 2018 NFL Draft, but they never came to fruition. Boston Sports Journal interviewed five personnel executives around the league to see if any hope for a trade remained.
Three of the five general managers believe that Bill Belichick is “testing Gronkowski’s mettle” to see if he’s going to buy-in to the team mentality and that the tight end will get a new deal at the start of the season- but that the tight end would be available for trade until that new deal is signed.
“Where’s the restructure of his contract?” one AFC personnel executive told BSJ. “Until that’s done, I think he’s still available.”
BSJ reports that the Patriots wanted a first round pick for Gronkowski ahead of the draft, but clearly did not see the value they were looking for since he remains with the team.
Will Gronkowski be traded? The 29-year-old is coming off another All Pro season, and his third out of the past four years, and has two years remaining on his contract. But his long list of injuries definitely suggest he’s closer to the end of his career than to the start of it.
Any team interested in Gronkowski would have to be willing to take on the risk that the tight end will only play for one more year and that makes a first round pick far too great of a price tag. Unless a team thinks they are one Gronkowski away from a championship (looking at you, Los Angeles Rams) in 2018 or 2019, it’s hard to justify paying a first round pick for Gronkowski.
Ultimately, I think the Patriots and Gronkowski reach a new contract ahead of the 2018 season and that Gronkowski will play a few more years in Foxboro.