Fans of the New England Patriots were devastated when Rob Gronkowski talked about retirement but ecstatic when he announced he was coming back. But that sense of ecstasy turned to dread once again when the news broke that the team was thinking about trading him. That feeling was made worse when they heard the related rumor about Tom Brady—trade Gronk and he retires.
Whether the rumors were fake news or hogwash didn’t matter to fans. They were just glad the rumors eventually went away, and their favorite tight end was still on the team. They weren’t fazed by the report about the four teams the Patriots supposedly had trade talks with.
It didn’t matter—he was still on the team. But according to the latest reports, his status as a Patriots may still be fluid. However, that isn’t because the team is actively seeking a trade. No, it’s because the Patriots and Gronkowski can’t seem to come to an agreement on a restructured deal.
According to the Boston Sports Journal’s Greg Bedard, at least one AFC Executive thinks Gronkowski could still become available:
“Where’s the restructure of his contract? Until that’s done, I think he’s still available. I wouldn’t be surprised if (Bill) Belichick is going to test Gronk’s buy-in with the contract.”
For what he brings to the table, Gronkowski is underpaid. He’s made it clear he thinks so. But he is also under contract through the 2019 season and the Patriots are under no obligation to renegotiate.
But if they want to make the most of Tom Brady’s final years, they need to keep Brady happy which also means keeping his favorite target happy. No one tends to believe retirement threats by NFL players. But Gronkowski may not be lying. He says he hasn’t spent any of his NFL earnings (approximately $44 million).
He really could walk away if he decides it isn’t worth it to play anymore.
Talks over a new contract are supposedly in progress. According to reports, a new deal is going to happen. But it does not appear imminent.
But what do the Patriots want to do in regard to Gronk’s contract? Do they just want to test his commitment to the team? Or will they give in and find a way to make him happier with his contract situation? Could they be growing tired of him? Could they be growing weary of trying to appease him?
There are people who support each scenario– but who’s right? Is anyone? Does the fact the question can be asked mean the trade drama is still ongoing?
The answer is simple—does it ever really end?