New England Patriots: Can they win without Rob Gronkowski?

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - FEBRUARY 04: Rob Gronkowski /

One of the big questions for the New England Patriots heading into next season is will Rob Gronkowski play. If he doesn’t, can they win without him?

After being plagued by injuries in 2016, Rob Gronkowski was able to bounce back in a big way for the New England Patriots last season.

While some may have questioned what Gronkowski would be in 2017 after missing a lot of time the season before, he made all the doubters quiet rather quickly with his play on the field. In 2017, Gronkowski totaled 69 receptions, 1,084 receiving yards, and eight touchdown catches.

Overall, it was a great season for Gronkowski, as he once again proved that he is the best tight end in the NFL. After a really strong postseason, reports came out that Gronkowski might be thinking about retirement, with a possible interest in joining the WWE.

Since Gronkowski has dealt with a good amount of injuries in his career, many believe that he could be using the retirement talk in order to secure a new contract. At 28-years-old, Gronkowski is by no means an old man. However, he could be looking for one more big payday before father time starts creeping in.

Recently on FanCred, Mike Felger and former Patriots tight end Jermaine Wiggins discussed whether or not the Patriots could survive without Gronkowski. Here’s what they had to say.

While losing Gronkowski would certainly be a huge blow to the Patriots, they have shown the ability to win without him. As recently as 2016, the Patriots were able to have the best record in the AFC and win the Super Bowl with Gronkowski sidelined due to injury.

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That season, the Patriots did have an excellent second option in Martellus Bennett, who certainly filled in well for Gronkowski. If Gronkowski was to retire now, the Patriots don’t currently have a good replacement like Bennett was at the time on the roster. However, the Patriots have always shown an ability to adapt and win, even when great players left. While losing Gronkowski would be a huge blow, the Patriots always have a chance to be great with Tom Brady and Bill Belichick.