The “chances are increasing” that the New England Patriots will trade Rob Gronkowski, according to the Boston Sports Journal. As for the reported asking price, it will take a “first-round pick if the team has it, but more likely a high second-rounder and a third”.
The issue with Gronkowski is he is non-committal to playing long term and has a plethora of injuries attached to his resume. If a team is going to trade for Gronkowski, they must consider they may only be getting one or two years from the superstar tight end. In order to find a match, it will take a team that is ready to compete for a championship right now.
Here’s a look at the teams that should make the move:
San Francisco 49ers
The 49ers are a team most feel is most likely to strike a deal, and it might just be the move that elevates them to the Eagles’ level. San Francisco was red-hot at the end of the season once Gronkowski’s former (sort of) QB Jimmy Garoppolo took over. Adding Richard Sherman to the young, improving roster has some believing the 49ers are just one piece away. What is it they are missing? A playmaker.
The issue with this match is the 49ers pick ninth overall, which is higher than the asking price for Gronkowski, and San Francisco does not pick again until the 59th selection. Would the Patriots take the 59th and 70th pick? If so, adding Gronkowski would be much more beneficial to Garoppolo and the team’s success than those two picks combined.
Don’t fool yourselves, the Cowboys are not far away. In fact, they have a well-rounded roster from top to bottom. Coach Jason Garrett claims Dak Prescott “has to improve,” they can make this happen in a win-win scenario. En route to trading for Gronkowski, they must include Dez Bryant in the package whether it is to New England or to a third team. Bryant has never fit with Prescott, so much so that he the was the second-least-valuable WR last year. Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott and Gronkowski is a hellacious threesome along with that offensive line.
Gronkowski is all about having fun, something he cannot always do under Bill Belichick if any place can keep him happy and wanting to extend his career, it is in Dallas.
Los Angeles Rams
The Rams have the easiest path to trading for Gronkowski: just trade the 23rd overall pick. After loading up this offseason with Marcus Peters, Aqib Talib, and Ndamukong Suh the Rams are coming in as one of the likeliest bets to win Super Bowl LIII. Translation: there is nothing they can do with the 23rd pick that is going to make a significant impact. Gronkowski, on the other hand, will.
It is hard to imagine the Patriots or Colts wanting to do business together, but if they can both benefit, who says no? The Colts might not be seen as contenders, but if Andrew Luck is healthy and has Gronkowski at his disposal — along with improving the roster through the draft — Indianapolis can make noise in the AFC.
Gronkowski is absolutely what Luck needs. Instead of having to ad-lib because nobody is ever open, then getting sacked or turning it over, Luck would have a massive weapon waiting to spike it. If the Patriots cannot get a first-round pick, the 36th pick might just do it.
The Texans were on the verge of becoming a real threat in the AFC before Deshaun Watson’s devastating injury. If they can surround their young quarterback with DeAndre Hopkins and Gronkowski, he could quickly become one of the best in the NFL.
Houston is in need of a TE, has the Bill O’Brien/Belichick connection (Belichick “loves Billy”), and has $34 million in cap space. But Houston will have to figure out a way to make this happen without a first or second-round pick this year.
Depending on the market for Gronkowski, Houston may be able to pull off a deal including the 68th and 80th pick this year along with a future first-rounder. Have there ever been two better athletes on one team than Rob Gronkowski and J. J. Watt?