Sports Q

Sports Q: Should the Patriots have received more from the Buccaneers for Rob Gronkowski?

Any expectation that they were going to get a haul for him is not well-considered.

Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski
Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski is pictured getting loose on the field in the cold before the game. The New England Patriots hosted the Los Angeles Chargers in an NFL Divisional Playoff Game at Gillette Stadium. Jim Davis/The Boston Globe

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Should the Patriots have received more from the Buccaneers for Rob Gronkowski?

A fourth-round pick seems about right to me.

It’s a bummer to see Gronk and Tom Brady go on to play elsewhere – we’re going to hear a lot about how much freer they feel away from Foxborough, and how fun the game is again, so brace yourselves. There are a lot of anti-Bill Belichick people who are going to enjoy writing those stories.

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But based on what Gronk was at the end of the 2018 season – a spent shell casing of what he once was – and considering he’s lost of a ton of football muscle since he retired after the Super Bowl win over the Rams, any expectation that they were going to get a haul for him is not well-considered.

Beyond that, the Patriots have no leverage. He didn’t want to play for them anymore, and if he did, they wouldn’t have had the cap space to pay him. Getting a fourth-round pick for a retired player that is done with you is a pretty good deal for Belichick.

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A fourth-round pick is valuable. James White was a fourth-rounder. So were Trey Flowers and Shaq Mason. Maybe they’ll draft a successor for former fourth-rounder Stephen Gostkowski with the pick.

One other thing: I hope people don’t hold this against Gronk. The on-the-field, off-the-field combo with him was as enjoyable as it has been with any Boston athlete I can recall. We were lucky to have this guy around for nine seasons, and I’ll always remember him well.

Leaving wasn’t a dig at the fans; he was tired of playing for Belichick. As great as Belichick is, and he’s the best there has ever been, that’s understandable. Plus, Gronk has had some Florida Man in him all along, hasn’t he?

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I hope it goes well for him, and I hope the Patriots hit on the valuable pick they got for someone who wasn’t going to play for them.

What does everyone else think? Should the Patriots have received more from the Buccaneers for Rob Gronkowski? I’ll hear you in the comments.

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