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Two days after the NFL draft, the current close Patriot table is pretty scary.
Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Stephen Anderson, Matt LaCosse, Ryan Izzo and Andrew Beck are traded to the Seahawks following Jacob Hollister on Monday and the team has not drafted at the weekend. The current group had a total of 35 catches last season and two players (Izzo and Beck) who have never played in an NFL game.
In the offseason, it seemed like Rob Gronkowski would retire and the Patriots would do so to replace him. But the way everything had gone down gave them hope that he would actually return, and so they were not so aggressive when it came to adding tight ends as they could and could have been.
Everything has come down here. [1
"Tonight is about celebrating with my teammates, this decision will be made in a week or two," he said
Two weeks later, his agent Drew Rosenhaus went to NFL Live from ESPN and said, Gronkowski needed more time, but there was more hope than ever that he would actually return, as he was almost 100 per cent safe during the season would be his last season.
"I contacted Gronk a few days ago. I spoke to the patriots about it, "Rosenhaus said. At the moment Rob is considering it. He thinks a lot about it. Rob will certainly make a decision in the foreseeable future. I do not want to put pressure on him and give him a timeframe, but I imagine it will happen sometime in the next few weeks.
About an month passed without an update or a hint from Gronkowski and his camp until two days before the free agency Rosenhaus went back to NFL live.
"I talked to Rob last night," Rosenhaus said. "He will not even tell me, he said he has not made a decision yet, he's healthy, which I'd like to say excitedly, he feels a lot better, he's been injured in the Super Bowl – what else is new to this Beast? He's so tough. The quad is healthy now.
"I personally just want the best for Rob. I said, "Rob, take your time, do what you believe." He's already the biggest bottleneck ever. He is the first ballot Hall of Famer. There has never been a close ending like this guy. The sky is the limit for him. If he comes back to be fantastic, it's not the truth, frankly. I'm waiting to see everyone else like that. "
So, the Patriots began the free brokerage without knowing exactly what Gronkowski would do, but based on what Rosenhaus said, there seemed to be some optimism that he would come back and play The time after the Super Bowl passed without notice, the sooner it seemed it would come back.
The beginning of free negotiation brought the best results with other teams, including Jesse James, Tyler Kroft, and CJ Uzomah – the patriots were never in the mix, because they really did not know what was going on with Gronkowski, and when they came back they obviously needed no further end.
Then came the weekend before the owner meetings in late March, and Bill Belichick seemed to decide that he On that Thursday, Belichick apparently called Rosenhaus to check on the status of Gronkowski, and Rosenhaus then told Gronkowski to go with ba ld make a decision.
Three days later, this Sunday, one day before the NFL owners' meetings, Gronkowski told Rosenhaus he was retiring.
"It's time," said Gronkowski to Rosenhaus, according to Peter King of NBC Sports. "I have just won another championship. I'm going upstairs. I just do not want to do anything for a while. I just want to be me. I just want to have fun.
Gronkowski then called Belichick and Patriots owner Robert Kraft before he publicized the announcement on Instagram that Sunday night.
At the same time, the Patriots lost another top-waist finish, Jared Cook, when he chose between the Saints and the Patriots, but because he wanted to be the closest end to No. 1, he opted for New Orleans, unaware What Gronkowski was up to.
There is no problem that Gronkowski takes his time to make a decision, since it was a big decision and he had to be 100 percent sure that it was the right decision. Taking so long and eventually retiring, he prevented the Patriots from doing everything in their power to replace him this year.
The organization missed all the top free agent bottlenecks and many said they would do it Fill the void over the air, it was clear the patriots did not consider the close end group to be so deep. At the top, T.J. Hockenson and Noah Fant are huge players, but since both were so high, the Patriots had no attempt to land any of them, even through trade. The other tight ends were simply not worth picking.
The best thing the team could do was unlocking Seferian-Jenkins and LaCosse, which are decent pieces, but not well-known players who build the tight end position around.
Now patriots have to look for contributors just months before the training camp, so the market is obviously not what it was. It is believed that Ben Watson may be able to leave the team, but with 38 years is not much to expect. And then there's the potential trading market, but that does return something, and there are not many options that go that way, which seem very attractive.
The Patriots will find a way to add one or two contributors over the next few weeks, but it's certainly not the way they envisioned the position.
For all that Gronkowski meant to the patriot, and what a great career he had, it became clear he was not doing them any good at the time of leaving.