When it’s the New England Patriots and their All-World TE is showing up at the facility for the mandatory minicamp after choosing to not attend voluntary workouts, it’s news. It’s news because it’s the Pats and they normally are able to handle these types of things quietly in-house. It’s also news because it’s Rob Freaking Gronkowski, the best TE in the NFL, probably the best TE ever and he want’s (and deserves) some more sugar for his cereal.
Rob wants a better contract.
This was thought to be the reason he stayed away and he verified it on Tuesday when he replied to the question “Do you want to get something done before the season?” with the succinct response: “Who wouldn’t?”
“Who wouldn’t?” Rob Gronkowski on if he would like to get a new contract before season begins
The base salary for Gronkowski in 2018 is $8 million. That’s a nice chunk of change but it’s not on par with what an all-time-great could get if he wanted to. And that’s the kicker, Gronk and Brady have accepted below-market deals in order to further the team goal of winning Super Bowls.
Winning Super Bowls. That’s the sugar that Gronk and Brady really crave. So Gronkowski took some time after the recent Super Bowl loss to reflect on his status, his health, and the status quo. He had to find out if he had another year in him mentally and physically to make another Lombardi run.
One has to think one of the thoughts he wrestled with was if he is sacrificing so much for another Lombardi then why was Butler on the sideline while the Pats defense was getting carved up in the passing game? It’s a valid question and one the clubs head coach has chosen not to address publicly. Whether he has privately or not is unknown. Yet what we do know is not one Pats player or official has stated they know and understand why the decision was made.
So yes, there are some rumblings in Foxborough and what is probably the best TE in the history of the NFL has decided he wants a little more motivation to help him stay focused in the later part of his prime.
Gronk is still the biggest mismatch in a matchup league. He is a fulcrum in both the running and passing games. He makes the team better on both sides of the ball. His physical style of play has an impact. The effect his infectious energy has on the team is visible on game day and in the locker room. He is simply put a football player, and one of the best to ever play the game.
Pay the man. He’s worth every penny, and more.
What say you Sports Nation?
Another Left Coast Sports Post: on Twitter – Steven Van Over