The Lions will start their first offseason work since hiring Matt Patricia as their head coach on Monday and one of the team’s top defensive players is not expected to be there.
Ansah hasn’t signed the tag, and remained in his native country of Ghana for a family obligation while the team reported for voluntary workouts on Monday. But it didn’t sound like anyone was concerned about a potential holdout.
Wood announced the Lions had the NFL’s biggest year-over-year attendance increase last season, which included six standing-room-only games at Ford Field. He joked with Patricia that the goal was eight this upcoming season, which the coach quipped, “More than eight,” drawing a large cheer from the crowd.
Gronkowski has battled injuries throughout his career, most recently a concussion in the AFC Championship Game. But reports have indicated his consideration of retiring may have more to do with being burned out emotionally than anything physical. Gronkowski has said that he saves the money he makes from the Patriots, so he could afford to retire, and he has other options, including acting and pro wrestling.
The report also says that Belichick has had some frustrations with Gronkowski and has questioned whether he’s fully committed to Belichick’s way of doing things.
If Gronkowski wants to keep playing, but not for Belichick, a trade could make sense for all involved. But the Patriots would surely want something significant in return for Gronkowski, and any team trading for him would need an assurance that he’s committed to continuing to play.
If Gronkowski is healthy and ready to go, he remains the best tight end in the NFL. His situation will bear monitoring until we have a definitive answer about his future.