Did anyone actually believe this was a real possibility? No offense to Barstool, but the higher-ups in New England were not about to leak a major trade to some Boston fan-boy bloggers. That's not how things work in Foxborough.
Nonetheless, what this fake trade rumor did expose is that trading Rob Gronkowski--however unlikely it appeared just a few days ago--would actually be a brilliant move by the Patriots.
The Pats' reliance on Gronkowski is obvious, as they've built an entire offensive scheme around the All-Pro, but his inability to stay on the field has put the team in precarious spots year after year.
Not to mention, this is not the Gronk we've grown to love. The man's a shell of himself, constantly beleaguered by injuries. Hell, Gronkowski wouldn't commit to playing this year after the heartbreaking Super Bowl defeat, and has irked Bill Belichick to no end. This is the sort of drama we aren't accustomed to in Foxborough.
Report: Rumors of imminent Rob Gronkowski trade have "zero truth" https://t.co/zLccgOg9YQ— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) June 8, 2018
Gronkowski is a fan favorite in New England and very clearly has plenty left in the tank. The question remains, however, how much of that fuel does he plan on spending on football?
Gronk has an infectious personality that would lend itself well to Hollywood, and the star tight end has expressed interest in that line of work. There's a good chance he'll get that opportunity sooner rather than later.
From multiple sources, here's what I have re: the Gronk rumors. Told Belichick wanted to trade him. Offers on the table w both the Titans and 49ers. He and Robert Kraft had a closed-door meeting to discuss. Tom Brady threatened to retire if the deal went through. Kraft nixed it.— Adam Kurkjian (@AdamKurkjian) June 8, 2018
Belichick's willingness to part with a once in a generation offensive weapon speaks to his relationship with Gronkowski. It's clearly beyond repair, and the Hall of Fame coach is tired of dealing with the distraction.
If the Pats want to deal Gronkowski, now is the time. At this stage in the offseason, New England can get peak value for their large, goofy asset. The return is likely to be a first-round pick and more.
If the Patriots are serious about any of this, sitting on their hands will only worsen their chances and further frustrate a fan base that needs answers.