Bill Belichick likes players who keep it real. Former Colts tight end Dwayne Allen, who the Patriots traded away a late round pick for on Wednesday (presumably to take the place of free agent Martellus Bennett), had this to say just two days after the initial Deflategate story broke. Keep in mind Allen played for the Colts in the “Deflategate game.”
“Not a story," Allen tweeted at the time. "They could have played with soap for balls and beat us. Simply the better team. We have to continue to build!”
On the surface it seems like the Patriots will place Allen alongside Rob Gronkowski to give them the third installment of their tight end 1-2 punch. But there was this:
Interestingly, a couple hours before the trade, CBS’ Jason La Canfora tweeted, “Few TEs left. Hear NYG, JAX, BUFF and NE and in on Bennett.”
Could that mean that the Pats are entertaining the idea of trading the oft-injured Gronkowski? The Pats, after all, won a Super Bowl without Gronk this past season and Belichick has to be tired of the whole joint press release with the Gronkowski family charade every time Gronk gets injured.
In all likelihood regarding La Canfora’s tweet, the Patriots probably circled back to Bennett’s camp one last time to see if he would take a “discount.” When they were told “no,” that’s likely when they gave the Colts a ring.
That said, Gronkowski is not an untouchable. Neither is Tom Brady, for that matter.
No. 87 has played in seven NFL seasons so far and in three of them he's missed five games or more. The biggest part about being a "Belichick player," is durability, and Gronkowski has proven to be the least durable player in New England these past few years.
"No matter how you look at it, [Gronkowski] is high maintenance," Breer said. "It's fair to say that he's a high maintenance player. Now what we've seen from the Patriots in the past - with high maintenance players they'll put up with it while they're still productive at the highest level. Eventually there comes a point where doing all of that work to keep him healthy and breaking all the rules that you have for everybody else to keep him on board - eventually a guy's production doesn't match what it takes to do all of that.
"We saw it with Randy Moss. They were willing to put up with all the crap with Randy Moss when he was scoring 23 touchdowns and when he was helping Matt Cassel in 2008. You get to 2010 and all of a sudden all the yapping and crap and everything else - the contract situation - that wasn't worth it anymore.
"Down the line, [Gronkowski] may be the surprise trade guy."