The retirement of Rob Gronkowski is a critical loss, but overall, are the Patriots’ skill position players even better in 2019 than they were in 2018?
If you make the mistake of listening to Boston’s sports talk radio outlets, you’ve been “fortunate” enough to hear a lot of complaining about the New England Patriots’ wide receiver and tight end groups being substandard this year. A popular opinionated consensus seems to consider those two areas on the offense as huge question marks heading into the 2019 season.
True, there was significant turnover offensively for the Patriots after winning Super Bowl 53. Left tackle Trent Brown signed a record-breaking contract in free agency with Oakland. Wide receivers Cordarrelle Patterson and Chris Hogan also cashed in during free agency with the Bears and Panthers, respectively, after receiving minimal attention from New England.
The biggest loss was at tight end, as future Hall of Famer Rob Gronkowski retired this spring. Along with Gronkowski’s departure has come a complete revamp of the position, as tight end Jacob Hollister was traded to the Seahawks for a seventh round draft pick next year and Dwayne Allen was released (and landed in Miami).
And yet, despite all the perceived negativity around the New England offense after this offseason’s personnel losses, there is a real chance that this team will actually perform better than the 2018 version that won the Super Bowl.
But then again, maybe not. Let’s first take a deeper look at the offseason moves before getting acquainted with the new and returning faces in Foxborough.