3. Rob Gronkowski
While Gronkowski may be recovering from back and forearm surgery, his presence still weighs heavily on the Patriots’ roster, giving the team freedom to release tight ends Jake Ballard and Daniel Fells. He is arguably the game’s best tight end when healthy and dominates the middle of the field with his size and catch radius.
Without Gronkowski, the Patriots lose a key cog in the middle of the field that defenses have to account for at all times. He’s also a stout blocker in the running game.