Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski will both make an appearance at mini-camp when their presence is required. Until then, the two have opted to stay away this year. Brady better hope that Gronkowski is staying in shape and can stay healthy, because his production has been vastly different with Gronkowski.
And yes, Brady and the Patriots won the Super Bowl two years ago without Gronkowski playing (coming from 28-3 in case you haven’t heard). Even with those games included, here are the splits for Brady with and without Gronkowski since the latter entered the league in 2010:
With Gronkowski: 113 games, 2771 of 4332 (65.5%), 33217 pass yards (7.85 YPA), 255 pass TDs, 55 INTs
Without Gronkowski: 30 games, 711 of 1182 (60.2%), 8198 pass yards, 51 pass TDs, 22 INTs
If we translate that to a per-16-game rate for each, we get the following:
With Gronkowski: 392 of 599, 4703 pass yards, 36 TD, 8 INT
Without Gronkowski: 379 of 630, 4372 pass yards, 27 TD, 12 INT
Okay, but it may be hard to put those numbers in context. The “With Gronkowski” numbers are basically identical to Aaron Rodgers since the start of his career. The “Without Gronkowski” numbers are similar to Ryan Tannehill, if he completed fewer passes but threw for slightly more touchdowns.
We are talking about a sample size of thirty games here–nearly two seasons worth of games spread over the last eight years. Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski have been a dominating force over the last eight years. If one of them is off, things could decline quickly in New England.