The seemingly neverending drama in New England spilled over in to the Titans universe on Friday when Adam Kurkjian, formerly of the Boston Herald, dropped this bomb on Twitter.
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
There is a pretty decent chance that this isn’t accurate. First, Kurkjian’s Twitter bio describes him as a “freelance journalist” so there is a possibility he either has bad information or is simply looking to stir the pot and get his name out there in hopes of finding a full time gig.
Second, almost every Patriots beat reporter has come out since and said this is flat out not true.
Rob Gronkowski was never getting traded today, per source. There were no deals in place, no deals to get nixed. It’s a non-story.— Jeff Howe (@jeffphowe) June 8, 2018
Resume your Friday. I am told there is "zero truth" to imminent Gronk trade.— Tom E. Curran (@tomecurran) June 8, 2018
Now, the wording on those two tweets are worth noting in my opinion. Howe says Gronk was not getting traded “today” and Curran says “imminent” so its possible that all three tweets are true if Kurkjian was reporting something that had happened earlier in the offseason.
Either way it sounds like negotiations — if there ever were any — are not ongoing currently.
Gronk to the Titans would make sense to some extent despite the presence of their own Pro Bowl tight end in Delanie Walker. GM Jon Robinson has largely been credited as the driving force behind the Patriots drafting Gronkowski in the 2nd round of the 2010 NFL Draft and Robinson has already established a track record of believing in his evaluations. He was the key influence in the Pats drafting Logan Ryan in 2013 and also reportedly wanted the team to take Johnathan Cyprien in that same draft. Both were early targets for Robinson in the 2017 free agent class. Robinson trying to land one of his biggest scouting ”hits” in Gronk shouldn’t be surprising at this point.
Obviously without knowing what the compensation might have been, its hard to say definitively whether I would have been for or against the trade, but in general I’m in favor of bringing in All-Pro caliber players and figuring out the rest later. You could absolutely design an offense where Gronk and Walker could co-exist and even thrive playing together. Gronk playing the Y position as an inline tight end with Walker becoming the world’s greatest move tight end is a pretty fantastic starting point for an offense. With both being plus run blockers it would have allowed the Titans to be equally as threatening on the ground and through the air to opposing defenses when lined up in 12 personnel. The Titans would be a bonafide matchup nightmare.
Alas, we will probably never get to see what this combination would look like in two-tone blue, but its at the very least a fun offseason hypothetical.