5 potential trade destinations for Rob Gronkowski

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - FEBRUARY 04: Rob Gronkowski /
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If the New England Patriots really move to trade Rob Gronkowski, these five teams look like viable landing spots.

After the Super Bowl, New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski suggested he was considering retirement. The WWE may be willing to offer him a full-time contract if he wants to start a new career, and Gronkowski is now set to appear in a movie alongside Mel Gibson.

It’s easy to see Gronkowski’s personality as a bad mark in the eyes of Patriots’ head coach Bill Belichick. Gronkowski may also be tired of the de facto dictatorship, with football first, last and always, Belichick rules over, where players that do things outside the Patriots’ umbrella are surely looked at with a sideways eye.

Now we have a report from Greg Bedard of the Boston Sports Journal, via The Big Lead, with the following nugget.

"A Bill Belichick-friendly source agreed with my thinking that once a player makes Belichick start to contemplate life without him, Belichick starts to warm to being without that player. “He imagines you gone,” he said. The longer Gronkowski goes without saying he’s all in, the chances of him being traded increases, the source said."

It’s surely a rare source that can be classified as “Bill Belichick-friendly.” But Bedard is a former Boston Globe NFL writer who probably remains as plugged-in to the Patriots as any media member could be.

It’s also a long way between the speculation stage and a trade being done. But if the Patriots are seriously looking to move Gronkowski, these five teams make some sense as possible landing spots.

5. Miami Dolphins

The Dolphins made the easy decision to release Julius Thomas at the start of the new league year, to clear $6.6 million in salary cap space. But it also left a fairly significant void, with converted college quarterback MarQueis Gray currently Miami’s No. 1 tight end and A.J. Derby and Thomas Duarte behind him on the depth chart.

To take on Gronkowski’s $8 million salary for 2018, the Dolphins would have to restructure some contracts, possibly make quarterback Ryan Tannehill post-June 1 cut and/or include a player in a deal with New England. But the 11th overall pick in the draft would be a solid centerpiece to a trade, with the added benefit of weakening the team they’re trying to usurp in the AFC East.