More money, less problems will be the slogan that will finally end the offseason drama between Rob Gronkowski and the New England Patriots.
The Rob Gronkowski offseason melodrama has hit its next phrase. As ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported on Sunday, the New England Patriots tight end will not attend the start of the team’s voluntary offseason program on Monday.
Surprising news? Probably not.
Given the fact that Gronkowski has not yet committed to whether he is going to retire or play this upcoming season, it was already unlikely that the big tight end would participate.
His absence, however, does not tilt the needle towards a retirement. Although there has not been any official commitment from Rob Gronkowski, there has been reports that he is likely to return. So, in essence this is nothing more than a passive aggressive hold out for more money.
And he deserves that money
As one of the most dominant playmakers in the NFL, Gronkowski deserves to be one of the highest paid. With two years and $17 million remaining on his contract, the Pro Bowl tight end is considered a bargain for the Patriots. But, in order to get him back on the field, the team is going to have to either restructure his contract like they did last year, or offer him a new deal.
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Now, there is some tension between Gronkowski and Patriots head coach Bill Belichick, but apparently it is not something money and a little more respect can’t fix. As the Boston Herald’s Karen Guregian also reported Sunday, there has been discussion between the two sides involving a contract.
Given the fact that Rob Gronkowski has been keeping in shape by working out at TB12 and is even in discussions involving a new deal, the contemplation of retirement is simply leverage.
For the first time in probably forever, Belichick does not hold the upper hand. Don’t pay Tom Brady’s top weapon and he either retires or plays with a lack of commitment. Try to trade him and just about all of Patriots Nation will be after his head.
On a positive note, the New England Patriots as a team seem confident of Gronk’s return. The team didn’t go after any of the top tight ends in free agency and was content enough to waive Martellus Bennett (although his retirement was eminent).
The fact that they are communicating and are aware Gronkowski’s contract motives means they will get something done.
In all, Rob Gronkowski will not retire unless he doesn’t get the type of contract he feels he deserves. He is simply saying to Bill Belichick: “Show me the money.”