So, the plan today was for me to write the unpopular opinion of how I don’t want a Rob Gronkowski trade. Sorry folks, I just don’t think it’s necessary. Not when you’ve got George Kittle and Garrett Celek coming into their own.
But then I saw this:
From multiple sources, here's what I have re: the Gronk rumors. Told Belichick wanted to trade him. Offers on the table w both the Titans and 49ers. He and Robert Kraft had a closed-door meeting to discuss. Tom Brady threatened to retire if the deal went through. Kraft nixed it.— Adam Kurkjian (@AdamKurkjian) June 8, 2018
For the record, the Patriots PR department tried to squash this by saying none of it was true, but we’ve heard this story before.
Well then, let’s talk about something else. How about how the Patriots have issues and we probably have Tom Brady to thank for all of this because the Jimmy Garoppolo trade has started a chain reaction. It’s interesting, actually, the reason the Gronk trade isn’t happening is because of the 49ers having Garoppolo.
Had the Patriots not traded Garoppolo, it would have been so easy, no it would have been so Bill Belichick, to say, “Ok, see you later,” and let Brady retire, while getting the best tight end in the league jettisoned for a pair of second round draft picks. Of course Brady might have seen that leverage as well which may be why he demanded Garoppolo’s trade (allegedly). If any of this is true, Brady is a hell of a politician. Of course, he doesn’t have Jimmy G waiting in the wings which gives him even more leverage, and an owner beginning to get a bit too involved in football matters.
The San Francisco 49ers have gone through their own version of this, four or five years ago. By that I mean owners meddling in football affairs. We may never know how much involvement York had in the decisions prior to hiring John Lynch, and by several accounts most of them lay on then-general manager Trent Baalke’s shoulders, but we as fans all saw where some ownership decisions led. Robert Kraft on the other hand has a similar attachment to his quarterback not unlike Eddie DeBartolo had with Joe Montana. The problem is these decisions, when left to the owner can have devastating consequences, and we’re seeing them right before our eyes.
Steve Young said that players would leave the 49ers before right before they were in a strict decline and that the Patriots followed the same philosophy. If true, the Gronk trade certainly makes sense at this point, as did a Tom Brady move last season. If (and the ‘if’ is strong here) both were happening, only to be nixed by a quarterback who has the owner wrapped around their fingers, there’s a problem. And the 49ers were a huge beneficiary, and coincidentally the reason why the Gronk trade won’t be happening.
Still, we do have the Patriots to thank, because if we didn’t have Tom Brady and his alleged politicking behind the scenes, the 49ers never would have gotten Jimmy Garoppolo in the first place.