The Patriots and Buccaneers made major waves today in the NFL when the Patriots agreed to trade six-time Pro Bowl guard Logan Mankins to the Bucs in exchange for tight end Tim Wright and a future fourth round draft pick.
The trade helps the Buccaneers gain a veteran at a spot they badly needed to improve. The preseason has shown time and again that the Bucs offensive line is nothing short of deplorable. The Bucs were even considering hiring former Miami Dolphins Pro Bowler Richie Incognito.
As for the Patriots, they traded away a declining player for a young, athletic tight end in Tim Wright. The question on the minds of many analysts now becomes, does the trade indicate that Rob Gronkowski’s health is waning?
Just wondering if the Pats trade for a TE tells us anything about Gronks availability for the first few weeks of the season…
— trey wingo (@wingoz) August 26, 2014
Wright (flex TE) & Gronk (in-line TE) play different positions, so I don’t necessarily see Wright acquisition as any hint at Gronk’s health.
— Evan Silva (@evansilva) August 26, 2014
Most have indicated that Wright plays a different tight end position than Gronkowski, and could in fact be similar to what Aaron Hernandez’s role was like with the Patriots.
Although for now it does not seem that the trade indicates that Gronkowski’s health is not up to par, his track record for being injured certainly warrants the question being raised in the first place.
As for Wright, we will have to wait and see how he fits into the Patriots offense this season.