Even though I spend a bunch of time here on the blog talking about creativity, writing, and a bunch of other things, I think it’s time to a take a little break for some sportsball. After all, at one time, I actually ran a sports blog as well as having far too much statistical knowledge jammed into my head concerning the various New England teams and their rivals.
Pray indulge me, dear reader.
This past week, the New England Patriots traded Rob Gronkowski and a 7th round draft pick to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for a 4th round draft pick. Once upon a time, anything involving Gronk would’ve been huge news and represented a seismic shift for the Pats, but since Brady took his talents to Florida awhile back, it’s basically another day at the office.
In my opinion, this is one of those rare trades that seems like it works out for everyone. The Bucs get a familiar target for Brady, another name that will move a ton of merch, and the depending on how much they pay him, it’s a pretty low risk because I’d imagine they’re not planning on him carrying the offense.
For the Pats, it’s the equivalent of putting on your winter coat for the first time in a year and finding a crumpled $10 bill in the pocket. Gronk has been retired for a year and there was no sign they were ever getting anything from him again besides a personal appearance or two. Sure, it would’ve been nice to say it was like finding a fifty, but considering he’s been hurt almost every year and only played in 16 of a possible 22 playoff games. For those keeping score at home, that’s the time when you need this guy the most and that’s when he’s most likely to be hurt.
It all comes down to a series of ifs.
If he can get back into football shape (anyone who’s seen Gronk in the last few months knows he isn’t in the same shape he was in 2018) … if he can stay healthy … if he still really wants to play. That last one isn’t a given and it’s also not a knock on Gronkowski in any way. Being bigger and faster than any other TE in the league has its drawbacks as refs are more likely to let guys hit, hold, and clench than if it were someone else. Gronk has the unofficial career record for Most Attempted One-Armed Receptions Because The DB Had His Other Arm Pinned To His Side. After a year of not getting clobbered, not waking up sore every Monday morning, and realizing he doesn’t really need the money… is he going to want to stick with this?
Gronk is the only one who knows that for sure. Brady has one of his binkys back. Let’s see if it makes any difference.