Late last week, rumors swirled that the New England Patriots explored trade opportunities for star tight end Rob Gronkowski.
There was even one report saying that a deal was on the table, but team owner Robert Kraft put a stop to it. On Tuesday night, Kraft addressed the situation.
“It’s a bunch of hogwash”
Kraft, at Gillette Stadium for the annual Myra Kraft Community MVP awards, was quick to address the speculation to reporters. He brought up the Gronk rumors unprompted, according to the Boston Herald.
“When your team is good, people are looking for things. I’ll just tell you it’s a bunch of hogwash that I vetoed some trade,” Kraft said. “That was never in the works. It’s just completely made up. And I think we have to be careful in society that people just can’t come out and say things. This bit about us trading Gronk to the 49ers or Tennessee, there’s no basis to it and it gets a life of its own. I just want to go on record to make sure you all understand there’s no truth to that.”
Rob Gronkowski wants a new contract
After dealing with a series of injuries and catching a career-low 25 passes in 2016, Gronkowski came back in a big way in 2017 with 69 catches for 1,084 yards in 14 games. The eight-year veteran has two years remaining on his current contract and is set to make $8 million with a $650,000 roster bonus in 2018. That’s around $2 million less than he earned in 2017.
Gronkowski, who opted to skip the voluntary portion of OTAs, made it clear when he reported for minicamp last week that he was “trying to” rework the deal with the hopes of coming to a resolution before the season begins. That would be the third contract for the oft-injured, but terrifically productive tight end.
New England has a history of moving on from veterans
We’ve seen it with the likes of Logan Mankins and Richard Seymour, both of whom were great players for the Patriots but traded at similar points in their careers. So would it really be all that surprising if the team explored trades for Gronkowski?
After all, Gronk hinted after the Super Bowl loss to Philadelphia that he was mulling retirement. It took a few months for him to proclaim publicly that he would return to the field. He’s a guy who has dealt with an array of serious injuries. From a business perspective, it makes sense for a team to be hesitant about committing additional money to a player whose future has been uncertain at multiple points.
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