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Most free agent tight ends are gone, which is a good thing for Rob Gronkowski

Ryan Hannable
March 14, 2018 - 10:25 am

After the initial wave of reported NFL signings, a number of the top tight ends are gone.

Jimmy Graham is going to Green Bay, Trey Burton is going to Chicago and Darren Fells is going to Cleveland, so teams looking to add a tight end via free agency don't have many solid options left. The only viable option that remains is Austin Seferian-Jenkins.

So, if the Patriots are actually concerned about going into 2018 without Rob Gronkowski, they didn't show it over the last few days. 

Certainly, the draft remains an option, but it isn't a deep tight ends class, and if the Patriots were going to draft a tight end to make an immediate impact it would need to come with one of their first few picks. But, as it stands now the Patriots likely need to use those first couple picks on the defensive side of the ball.

If you're Gronkowski, this is a win as he becomes even more valuable to the Patriots with a lack of other options and he has even more leverage, if in fact he's looking for a new deal. Maybe even holding out of camp is an option until he gets one.

Gronkowski certainly deserves to be paid more. Sure, he signed a six-year deal knowing he was getting a lot of money up front, but things have changed drastically not only with his own play and being by far the best tight end in the game, but the massive contracts other tight ends are getting who aren't even close to his level.

Burton is essentially being paid a million less than Gronkowski this coming season. Does that seem reasonable? Not a chance.

It would appear the Patriots are going to eventually need to give their All-Pro tight end more money and allow him to be paid like he deserves, which is a lot more than a base salary of $8 million in 2018.

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