The NFL has been relatively quiet as we approach April, and that means it is time for your random rumors. There has been a lot of speculation about Rob Gronkowski‘s future in New England, and now Boston Sports Journal editor Greg Bedard threw a serious log on the fire. The article is behind a pay wall, but the folks at 49ers Webzone have some notable quotations.
“A Bill Belichick-friendly source agreed with my thinking that once a player makes Belichick start to contemplate life without him, Belichick starts to warm to being without that player. ‘He imagines you gone,’ [the source] said. The longer Gronkowski goes without saying he’s all in, the chances of him being traded increases, the source said.”
This is not the most surprising comment, but where it gets fun is in the mention of potential destinations. Bedard said that “everyone agreed the 49ers would be the ideal trade partner.” He spoke to an AFC general manager who offered some specific reasons why the 49ers would make sense if Gronk was available.
“Put him back with Garoppolo, they have nothing at tight end, they have the cap space ($46 million) and maybe Lynch will overpay to make up for the deal Belichick gave him on Jimmy,’ one AFC general manager said. ‘And you don’t have to worry about Gronk in your conference.’”
The “nothing at tight end” is a bit overblown. The 49ers do not have a Gronk at tight end at this point, but George Kittle showed a lot as a rookie.
Gronk would be a clear upgrade to the position from a talent standpoint, but there are some key factors to consider in any such rumor. The first is his health. He has not played a full 16-game schedule since 2011, and even when he has gotten on the field, injuries have slowed him down at times.
The other big issue is how long he will remain in the NFL. He has talked about potentially retiring, and given all the injuries, that could end up happening sooner rather than later. That being said, if the price is right, Gronkowski would be a heck of a weapon to add to the 49ers arsenal.
I don’t expect anything to actually come of this, but I will say, make sure and be particularly wary this Sunday, April 1, if we hear any reports about Rob Gronkowski.