The NFL offseason provided fans with another shocking twist Tuesday afternoon when it was revealed that the New England Patriots were trading Rob Gronkowski to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The move means Gronk is officially out of retirement and teaming up with Tom Brady once again.
A trade involving one of the greatest tight ends to ever play the game would surely bring a nice return back to New England -- or so it seemed until the trade details were revealed. Rather, it became clear the Bucs absolutely fleeced Bill Belichick and Co.
That's right. Gronk, whose rights were still held by the Patriots due to his status on the reserve/retired list, only brought back a fourth-round pick. This just doesn't add up considering Belichick was involved. The only explanation is that he wanted to avoid any painful, dicey negotiations and just send some good will Tom Brady's way. But still, he couldn't have snagged OJ Howard or Cameron Brate in return, or at least a higher pick?
The counter-argument is that Belichick got a fourth-rounder in return for a retired player who wasn't going to play in Foxborough again. Gronk returning from his retirement and staying with the Patriots would have put major money back on the books, anyway. He made his demands, and to be fair, any extra draft pick is a weapon in the hands of an all-timer like Belichick.
It is just hard to believe that there wasn't any sort of opposition put up by the Pats head coach. At this point, New England fans want to believe that he has more moves up his sleeve. The reality may just be he made an unfortunately necessary deal that signals the dynasty is, at long last, finally over.