Last season, the New England Patriots
were considered the favorites to win the Super Bowl because they were the defending champions and they added players like Brandin Cooks
in the offseason, giving them more depth than they had the previous year.
After losing the Super Bowl to the Philadelphia Eagles
, the team has been trying to improve their roster by bringing in players like Jeremy Hill and Adrian Clayborn, who they expect to help the old New England players
to win next Super Bowl.
While the front office is busy trying to add more depth, there is a lingering question they will have to address soon, which is the future of tight end Rob Gronkowski
After their Super Bowl loss, Gronkowski declined to address his future with the team, and since then, there has been speculation on whether he would return next season.
At 28-year-old, Gronkowski is just entering his prime, but after a career filled with injuries and concussions, Gronkowski is reportedly contemplating his future as a football player.
Since Gronkowski is a very popular player, he has a lot of options if he decided to retire before next season. He is reportedly interested in becoming an action movie star like Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, who parlayed his popularity in the WWE to become one of the highest paid ac tors in the world.
Gronkowski is also said to be considering joining the WWE if the acting thing doesn’t work out.
With his personality, Gronkowski should be fine if he decided to walk away from the game today, but can the same be said about the Patriots?
Gronkowski is the best tight end in the game, and if he had been injured this season, the Patriots likely won’t have made the Super Bowl because they were also without Julian Edelman
, who had been Brady’s favorite target.
In Edelman’s absence, Gronkowski was the team’s leading receiver, followed by Cooks. Without Gronkowski, the team would have had trouble moving the ball, and they would have lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers
during the regular season, which would have given the Steelers home field advantage in the playoffs.
During the 2016 season, the Patriots won the Super Bowl without Gronkowski, who was sidelined with an injury. Some will likely point to that as a reason the Patriots can win the Super Bowl without Gronkowski, but you also have to remember that the team had Martellus Bennett, who stepped up in Gronkowski’s absence and helped them win the Super Bowl.
After their season ended in February, the Patriots released Bennett, who was unable to play in this year’s Super Bowl because he was on the IR list, which means they don’t have a capable tight end to replace Gronkowski.
The good news for Patriots fans is that Bill Belichick is still running things and Tom Brady
is returning for at least one more season, which gives them a chance to win it all. Since Belichick is a proactive coach, expect to see the Patriots either draft a tight end or pick one up in free agency to give them depth at the position if Gronkowski gets injured or decides to retire before next season.