The New England Patriots already had to struggle with Tom Brady leaving the organization to play for the Buccaneers, and today, they had to swallow a pretty jagged pill when Rob Gronkowski came out of retirement and demanded a trade down to Tampa to reunite with TB12.
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The Patriots might be on the verge of a rebuild at this rate, while Bruce Arians' Buccaneers are suddenly gunning for a ring. The two parties could actually help one another once again if that's truly the case, as New England could trade veteran wide receiver Julian Edelman -- a former Super Bowl MVP fresh off setting a new career record in receiving yards -- to Tampa Bay to team up with Mike Evans and Chris Godwin.
As wild as such a deal would be, here's how they can make it happen (and turn the NFL upside down in the process).
Edelman, who's entering his age 34 season, won't cost an arm and a leg, as the second of Tampa Bay's two fourth-round picks and tight end Cameron Brate might be enough to get a deal done.
Edelman is still productive, and he could give Bruce Arians' vertical offense the underneath component it lacks right now. Meanwhile, New England would get tight end help from Brate, who is in the middle of a six-year, $40 million contract, meaning he won't be a free agent until 2024. Finally out of OJ Howard's shadow, Brate would be a starter in a passing game that thrives around the tight end.
Edelman hasn't played without TB12 under center, and moving him to Tampa to play in the slot would give the Bucs the most feared collection of perimeter talent we've seen in the league in some time. New England, meanwhile, would get a starting tight end under team control for a few more seasons and another draft pick.
As crazy as it sounds, it's really just crazy enough to work. And if you're a fan of NFL chaos, it's exactly the deal you want to see.