New England Patriots

By Matt Dolloff,

With New England Patriots training camp less than three weeks away, executives around the National Football League continue to monitor the Pats and their talks with Rob Gronkowski. Still without a re-worked contract, the tight end’s situation is giving other teams hope that he’s still available for a potential trade, or will be made available in the future.

That’s what Greg Bedard of the Boston Sports Journal gathers as he asks around the league for how teams are gauging the situation in New England. A number of sources gave varying thoughts on Gronk’s contract and whether he could still be on the block. That’s despite Gronkowski’s public commitment to playing the 2018 season for the Patriots and multiple reports that a restructured contract is on the horizon.

“Where’s the restructure of his contract?” one ‘AFC personnel executive’ told Bedard. “Until that’s done, I think he’s still available. I wouldn’t be surprised if Belichick is going to test Gronk’s buy-in with the contract.”

Head coach Bill Belichick speaks to Rob Gronkowski during the 2015 AFC Championship Game between the New England Patriots and Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on January 24, 2016 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

Bill Belichick speaks to Rob Gronkowski during the 2015 AFC Championship Game. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

Other execs echoed the sentiment that Bill Belichick is “testing” Gronkowski’s patience, but one still believes the two sides eventually come to an agreement on a new deal.

It’s important to note that this is what the other teams believe about Gronkowski’s availability. There’s nothing from the Patriots or Gronk that suggests he’s actually available, or would be any time soon. That’s just how teams who remain interested in making the move are viewing the situation at Patriot Place.

If the Pats and Gronk couldn’t agree to terms, and it came to Belichick deciding to trade the All-Pro tight end, it would be far from the first time that the head coach made a move of similar magnitude. But it would still be a stunner. Gronkowski has committed to playing in 2018, and he’s arguably invaluable as an asset. The Patriots would be hard-pressed to find another player of Gronk’s caliber with any draft pick that came over in a trade.

That apparently won’t stop teams from trying.

Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff or email him at

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