​​Rob Gronkowski, perhaps the best tight end in ​NFL history, decided to hang up the cleats after a Hall of Fame career with the New England Patriots. This didn't come as much of a surprise to anyone -- it seemed pretty obvious throughout the 2018 season that this would be Gronk's last rodeo.


But one Boston columnist has taken issue with the timing of Gronk's decision, and thinks the Patriots organization has the right to feel the same way.

Patriots and Red Sox writer Ryan Hannable, in his most recent column, claimed the Patriots have "reason to be miffed" with Gronkowski for waiting until the end of March to make his decision on retirement. 


His main argument is that the Patriots were optimistic Gronk would return for another year, so they didn't target any of the top tight ends when free agency began at the beginning of March. 


Even if they did believe there was a good chance Gronk would come back, it's on them that they didn't have any kind of contingency plan in place if he didn't, especially since it would've been extremely unlikely he played beyond next season given the circumstances.

Teams waiting on players who are contemplating retirement isn't unheard of either.


The Philadelphia Eagles have been waiting to hear from Chris Long on his potential retirement all offseason. They didn't just wait around twiddling their thumbs waiting for a decision, they signed Vinny Curry in free agency and spent a fourth-round pick on a defensive end.  


Also, going out and signing big-name playmakers on offense has never been Bill Belichick's style either, so it's not like the Pats would've made some groundbreaking move in free agency.

Even if the Patriots brass didn't like any of the tight ends in free agency, they had 12 picks heading into this year's NFL Draft, and they didn't use ONE of them on a tight end. 


It doesn't seem like the team views its ​tight end situation as dire as some in the local media do.