After lots of back and forth, tight end Rob Gronkowski is returning with the New England Patriots in 2018. But according to recent reports, that might not always have been the plan. Per Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, the Patriots were shopping him just three days before the NFL Draft.
“Per a league source, the Patriots were calling other teams about a possible Gronkowski trade as recently as three days before the draft. Coincidentally (or not), Gronkowski ended nearly three months of uncertainty regarding his future by declaring publicly that he would play in 2018 only two days before the draft,” the report states.
While the Patriots are coming off another fairly successful season, so is Gronkowski. He would haul in 69 passes for 1,084 yards and eight scores in 2017. Not only that, but he would show up big in the Super Bowl as well (9 catches, 116 yards, 2 touchdowns). However, that didn’t stop the Philadelphia Eagles from ultimately claiming the league’s biggest prize. That said, Gronkowski has nothing left to prove in the NFL. He doesn’t have to prove anything to the Patriots. He especially doesn’t have to prove anything else to head coach Bill Belichick.
Gronkowski is only 29 years old, but is a four-time All-Pro and two-time Super Bowl champion. He has 1,000 receiving yards or more in four of his eight NFL seasons. The only worry going forward is injury history. Despite only being 29, injuries have started piling up on the tight end. That’s why his future was seemingly in doubt earlier this offseason. But all that speculation is over now. Tom Brady is back. The Patriots are trying to get back to the Super Bowl for the third consecutive season. And if Gronkowski wasn’t all-in earlier, he probably is now.
That last part should make Belichick especially happy.