(Starting a new thread as the ;last one has reached 21 pages; hopefully a mod will lock the last one)
Just filed to ESPN that Gronk won't play again and teammates can't reconcile what he does in practice with inability to go on game day.
There is so much going on with this story at every level.
First, Gronk has been practicing and he looks great – teammates, coaches and the media all say he looks 100% healthy. He has separation, speed, agility, taking hits etc.
The problem is that he won’t play. The information is that an independent medical examiner – Dr. Andrews – has not cleared Gronk to play. And from what I can gather that “Independent medical expert” is not required for Gronk to return; that Gronk and “people close to him” put Andrews AND a second doctor- Dr. Jesse Jupiter – in the mix, needing clearance from BOTH of these doctors before Gronk can play.
And “people close to Gronk” is a euphemism for Gronk’s father who is leading this. Apparently, Daddy Gronk is angry that Gronk was cleared to play too early from LAST year’s injury. So they want to “take it slow.” And while I get that… if you look 100% what are you waiting for? How many players playing in the NFL this Sunday are 100%? I bet its something like 10%. If you are waiting to feel “perfect” then you could wait forever. And so long as there is an excuse to be made, clever people will find ways to avoid their duty (which is easy for me to say).
There are a few other wrinkles, both obvious and head-scratching:
-Getting back to Gronk’s father, his motivation is that he does not trust the Pats’ medical staff. Ooookkkkkayyyy…. Well… if you don’t trust the Pats’ medical staff… why are you letting him practice? Supposedly it’s the Pats’ medical staff that cleared him to practice… if you don’t trust them, then why are you listening to them?
-Ron Borges, the forever-Pats-hating Boston columnist (how I really like and respect), stated that he has not heard ONE SINGLE PLAYER complain about Gronk. He says that the selected quotes coming out of Pats’ camp are all coming from the Pats’ organization to try to force Gronk to play.
-We THEN have to deal with the whole reason Gronk may not be 100%. Andrews- and I don’t know of this was one the record or “sources close to Andrews…” –stated that the reason this has taken so long is because of the infection in his forearm which may undermine the stability of the arm forever. Okay, that’s bad. But why not antibiotics? Well, turns out they DID use antibiotics, but they did not take. Why? Well, one reason could be Gronk’s horrible lifestyle, including his drinking. Well, alcohol blunts and counters the effectiveness of antibiotics . So, in other words, Gronk may be more responsible than is being reported for his injury time.
-One overriding aspect of this case is Gronk’s 2015 contract extension. While that may seem far away, its not. All of Gronk’s 2013 season is paid for – I’m not sure if its all guaranteed, but it’s a lot of money and NONE of it is incentive-based. That’s not true for 2014 where much of it is incentive based. AND 2015 is the big year- if Gronk has a poor 2014- and if he’s constantly hurt that’s a distinct possibility- then the Pats may not pick up the option. Not only does that make his contract situation uncertain, it eliminates all that guaranteed money under the extension – about $15 million.
-Oh, and then there is the whole PUP thing. Its week 6 and Gronk is not playing (most likely). That means the earliest he could play is week 7, and that’s ONE week LESS than had the Pats put him on the PUP. That means Gronk and his daddy just cheated the Pats out of a roster spot. Not that that would have helped or anything … right?
I am of two minds on the subject.
Pro Gronk: The Pats’ cannot complain when a player acts like the Patriots against the Patriots. If he is doing what’s best FOR HIM then the Pats don’t have much to complain about. Also, just how much will Gronk help? Do the Pats have ANY shot to beat New Orleans? And moreover, if this is a long term issue… who cares if the Pats lose to the NFC? They would need to implode to lose the AFC East. So what’s the rush?
Anti-Gronk: In 2012 we learned that Logan Mankins- the Pats all-pro guard –played the VAST majority of 2011 with a torn ACL (fuck.me.). Guys play hurt; they play with horrible injuries. And they play hurt in contract years and they play hurt when guaranteed money is about to go “bu-bye.” They will tell you from opening day onward NOBODY plays at 100%. And so, a big, goofy white guy and his father are saying he’s not 100%? How much does it take to “not be cleared” by TWO Independent medical examiners?
Edited by Rockroi, 13 October 2013 - 10:28 AM.