While New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski continues to ponder his future in the NFL, fans have to find a way to move on without him.
Trust me, as a fan I don’t want Super Bowl LII to be the last time I saw a Gronk spike in a Patriots uniform, but Gronkowski’s Cryptic tweets along with WWE rumors have me preparing for the great tight end to walk away from the game.
Honestly, a potential career in the WWE or movies is not what has me feeling a little concerned about Rob Gronkowski not suiting up in 2018. It’s his injury history and the fact that he has accomplished everything he could on the football field.
The last couple of weeks, I held on to Gronkowski’s hunger to win another Super Bowl as his motivation to come back. But, after NBA Sports Boston’s Tom Curran broke the following news, it appears Rob Gronkowski lost his appetite for football and playing under Bill Belichick before the 2017 season even started.
“He didn’t enjoy himself in 2017,” Curran revealed Monday on Boston Sports Tonight. “He didn’t have a good time. Despite the fact that his body was in a better situation that it has been in a long time, ever maybe. Despite the fact that he’s one of the most dominant players at any skill position. It is starting to wear on him, physically and mentally.”
Curran’s later revelation that Gronkowski considered retirement during training camp when his body wasn’t responding like he wanted further discouraged me about Gronk’s decision being a positive one for Patriots fans.
Team can and will win without Rob Gronkowski
It had me thinking about life without Rob Gronkowski. Something, we should be prepared for and something the team has already adjusted to.
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With the All-Pro tight end’s injury history, the Patriots have rarely gone through a full season with a healthy Gronk. All reason for him to consider retirement and all a reason his retirement won’t be the end of the world for Tom Brady and crew.
Over the last few seasons, the team has done a great job adjusting the offense without Gronkowski in it. They have even won a Super Bowl with him standing on the sidelines. So, there is no doubt in my mind the offense will be find, especially with Julian Edelman returning.
But, it sure is great having an offensive force like Rob Gronkowski running down the seams isn’t?
As great as it has been watching this mismatch catch balls over defenders, it’s time to move on. Detroit Lions fans have had to go through something like this twice when both Barry Sanders and Charles “Megatron” Johnson left the game too soon. Unlike the Lions, however, the Patriots will adjust.
With players like Jimmy Graham, Tyler Eifert and Trey Burton available through free agency as well as some talented tight ends coming out of the draft, the team will find its next great tight end.
In all, No. 87 may just surprise us all and return in 2018 refreshed, energized and hungrier than ever. That’s what most of us are betting on. However, let’s not set ourselves up for a major disappointment. We have to move on from Rob Gronkowski mentally.
Even if he returns, we have to find a way not to depend on his dominance. Because, even if he doesn’t walk away this season, there doesn’t seem to be too many years of football left for the all-time franchise receiving touchdown leader.