The New England Patriots should’ve gotten more back in draft capital for the shocking trade that sent Rob Gronkowski to Tampa.
Tampa will heretofore be known as New England South. The return was reportedly a fourth-round pick and to add insult to injury, with a 7th rounder going back to Tampa from New England.
Not good at all.
I have to say this was not at all unexpected.
Gronk’s availability for a new Tampa Bay offense had to always been considered as a possibility after No. 12 left for Tampa. My issue is with the return to New England. I think New England settled for far too little in draft capital in return.
Rob Gronkowski is no ordinary tight end or player. He’s the best to ever play his position and after a year without getting plastered on every reception, he’s going to be fresh.
Gronk will be 31 next month. Not ancient, but not young in NFL terms either. Especially after all the punishment he has taken over the years.
Yet, a fourth-round pick is not exactly a bonanza for a player of his talent, age and current situation, having been away from football for a year. New England had plenty of leverage in any deal.
First, he was under contract to the Patriots alone. That’s leverage. Second, clearly Brady was an instigator in this business.
That means the pressure would have been on Tampa to do whatever it took to make Brady happy, to get his friend and co-contributor to great success in New England to join him. Whatever it took.
In my opinion the New England Patriots caved too early. They should have played hard-ball with Tampa right up until draft day two if it took that.
This meager return for a player of Gronk’s ability is a bad signal of what is to come from New England in the days ahead. Having suggested a complete transformation in their offense as a prudent way to proceed, their messing up this trade bodes ill for future transactions.
Expect Joe Thuney to go too for a lower pick than he should and don’t be surprised if Julian Edelman is shipped out either. This trade was poorly played. If it was game of poker, the New England Patriots folded their hand much too soon and lost the pot.