Fire the Muskets: Gronk Headed to "Tompa" Bay

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The New England Patriots were sitting at No 44. and Bill Belichick had a player in mind he wanted to draft.  The problem was he would need to trade up to acquire him.  The Patriots and the Raiders worked out a trade that allowed the Patriots to jump the Ravens sitting at No. 43, who were needing a replacement for tight end Todd Heap.  The Patriots would go on to select Arizona tight end Rob Gronkowski. 

Photo courtesy of BleacherReport.com

Literally, the rest was history.  Gronkowski went on to become a three-time Super Bowl champion, four-time First-team All-Pro, five-time Pro Bowler, NFL 100th Anniversary All-Time Team, NFL 2010s All-Decade Team and 2011 NFL receiving touchdowns leader among the many accolades he compiled over his Hall-of-Fame career. 

Coming into the 2001 NFL Draft, Gronkowski was graded a first-round talent, but there were question marks concerning his back injury and durability.  Gronkowski slipping to Day 2 of the draft was music to Belichick’s ears and, for a man who loves value, he would get a ton of value for his selection of the tight end. 

Gronkowksi, who played two seasons at Arizona, was hoping he would stay in the Grand Canyon State.  In a pre-draft interview with 98.7 FM Arizona Sports Station “Doug & Wolf”, he “loved being in the state of Arizona.  I felt like they needed a tight end and they brought me in for a little visit”, said Gronkowski.  Instead, it just wasn’t in the “cards” to stay in Arizona and play with the Cardinals.  I bet that is one that the Cardinals wish they could get a mulligan for, and if they could change history draft Gronkowski. 

Instead that didn’t happen, he ended up with the Patriots and Gronkowksi and Tom Brady would wreak havoc on their opponents and the duo would be extremely successful.  The lovable “Gronk” is still a beloved figure here in New England, and the retired tight end has been rumored to wanting to play with Brady in Tampa Bay.  The Patriots still own the rights to Gronkowski, and in order for him to be reunited with Brady would be the Patriots trading his rights. 

Gronkowksi was asked during a video chat about joining Brady in Tampa Bay and he didn’t exactly shoot down the rumors.  He responded to Barstool Sports PFT Commenter and said, “wow, PFT Commenter. Yo, you know PFT Commenter, his dog is starting some crazy rumors out there," Gronk said.  "His dog, Leroy, dog.  You've got to keep your dog quiet.  Leroy, you got to stay quiet, man.  Oh man, he's barking up a storm."

Photo courtesy of BleacherReport.com

Gronkowski could have simply said "no", but he didn’t.  He didn’t because he might want to play with Brady one more time.  The Patriots own the rights for one last season, the Gronkowski asset has some value.  The major issue right now in New England is their lack of cap space, so if Gronkowski was to come out of retirement, they would need to immediately trade him because he holds a $9.25 million dollar cap hit. 

The rumors of GronkMania have been running wild in Tampa Bay leading up to the draft.  Well those rumors came to a head on Tuesday when the Patriots traded Gronkowski and a seventh-round draft pick to the Bucs for a 2020 fourth-round pick.

Gronkowski had the Patriots and Belichick over a barrel in this situation.  At first my reaction was I hated this trade.  Instead the fact the Patriots acquired a fourth-round pick for a player who quit on them last year and wasn't coming back is a win for the Patriots.  The lethal combination of Brady to Gronkowski will happen in Tampa this season while the Patriots are left in a mess.  The saying of "In Bill We Trust" is more an important than ever. 

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Boston Sports Syndicate: Fire the Muskets: Gronk Headed to "Tompa" Bay
Fire the Muskets: Gronk Headed to "Tompa" Bay
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