Whenever he retires, Gronk should be a first-ballot Hall of Famer

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Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski may soon retire. Whether he retires this year or next year or the year after or whenever, he’ll be eligible for a bronze bust in the Hall of Fame five years later.

And there’s no question that he should be inducted on his first consideration.

Karen Guregian of the Boston Herald communicated with five of the 48 voters on the issue of Gronk’s status as a potential first-ballot entry. The responses aren’t nearly as unequivocal as they should be.

Gronkowski’s stats haven’t been spectacular relative to other pass-catchers, but he’s not a receiver. He’s 130th in career receptions and 104th in career receiving yards — much higher in both categories than Patriots receiver Julian Edelman, who has become in some circles a sudden candidate for Canton.

Gronk’s status as a first-ballot entry comes from a combination of his statistics, his blocking, and the fact that in his prime he gave defenses nightmares regarding the prospect of slowing him down. Entering the 2015 season, the question of how to contain Gronkowski became one of the dominant themes in the league, with every possible strategy discussed, plenty of them attempted, and the Steelers at one point during the opening game of that season accidentally attempting to cover Gronk with no one.

Receivers who consistently require such attention stand out. Tight ends who fall into that category definitely do, because they are extremely rare.

Gronkowski wasn’t just rare. He was, and is, one of a kind. A complete tight end, a weapon unlike any other. A guy who surely will be the first-string tight end on the team of the current decade, and who should be a first-ballot Hall of Famer because, with all due respect other all-time great tight ends, none have been greater than Gronk.

51 responses to “Whenever he retires, Gronk should be a first-ballot Hall of Famer

  1. Never forget in 2014 ish era. Dan Patrick arguing with Dungy and Mclovin that both Kelce ANDA Jimmy Grahame we’re better receivers and safer fantasy picks. I would post the video but you can YouTube it.

    Guy is best TE ever. In all likeliness Brady will PROTEST the HOF if Gronk is not in by that time.

  2. Jason Witten was better…

    Eric Berry locked Gronk down!!! Quite easily actually…and who could forget that infamous game in Denver…when Gronk got tackled at the knee and he flailed around on the ground like he stepped on a land mine…got carted off the field for…wait for it…a bruised knee…! Witten was just as athletic, a better blocker and was always available…

  3. He was the focal point of the most dominant, consistently productive offense of the decade, and helped win 3 Super Bowls (although he was injured for one). The fact that he was also dominant in the run game unlocked so much for the Pats offense. Hall of Famer no question, so unless he happens to be in a class with a ton of guys more deserving than him, hard to see how voters would keep him out.

  4. Slow your roll Mike…

    I certainly respect what the Pats have accomplished but neither Edelman or Gronk have done enough yet to be in the Hall of Very Good and Popular!

    Doesn’t mean that they can’t get there or that they won’t given players like Terrell Davis have been inducted.

  5. There is added value in being some like, say, Jason Witten, who played for a very long time and was always on the field. But when healthy, Gronkowski was the single greatest quality Tight End we’ve ever seen. He did that for long enough to be a slam dunk HOFer.

  6. HOF greatness shouldn’t come via a few great moments. It should be a culmination of consistent greatness. But w TD & Kurt getting in, all these guys who had less than 5 years of dominance or greatness will flood the halls, making 10+ years of consistent production less significant and no longer the bar for a bronze bust.

  7. on a team that features no one
    he was outstanding
    his talent was second to none as far as tight ends go
    he has shown he deserves to be in the HOF
    its time players, and coaches also had a major say in who gets in

  8. Lol god no, his stats show he is not Hall of Fame quality, he is not even in Travis Kelsey’s League nor Zack Ertz, even Jimmy Graham was better than him. Gronk is and will always be overrated.

  9. My old name was offensive: Berry locked Gronk down til it mattered most. It was Berry who looked like a child next to Gronk on that final drive. Romo knew it was coming, all of the watching world knew it was coming, Chiefs had to have known it was coming, but yet he couldn’t stop it.

  10. Definitely one of the all time great tight ends. If he could have stayed healthy, he would be in the conversation for all time great players. Sorry to the Jason witten fans, Jason was a great player but nobody stayed up nights trying to figure out how to stop him.

  11. @my_old_name_was_offensive

    Berry locked Gronk down? Do you forget the 3rd down catch he completely owned him on? Without that, it’s game over.

    I hate the Pats as much as anybody else, but Gronk, at his peak, is the best TE eve. Better than Gonzo, better than Gates, better than Newsome, etc. Dude is a phenomenal. He can barely run right now and he’s still out there making a huge difference. He’s blocking really puts him over the top and he is a TD machine.

  12. Gronk will get in the Hall but it might not be first ballot.
    Witten will get in as well. Gronk was the better receiver, Witten the better blocker. Gates will get in as well.
    The only thing I dont like about Gronk is how much he pushes off to get open or catch the ball but like Michael Irvin, he gets away with it. Still, his postseason excellence could push him in, first ballot.

  13. I burn with passion for my distaste for the pats but think gronk is amazing. He’s an “any era” player. Amazing blocker, clutch receiver, and a punishing runner. He embarassed Sergio brown.actually he pretty much embarrassed the colts every game.

  14. If Kurt Warner and Terelle Davis are in Gronk is in. The voters have shown rings and a brief period of excellence is enough.

  15. I hate the Pats but yeah Gronk is great and should be in the HOF. Sounds like his career might be shorter than others due to his injuries but hes been great since day one.

  16. Most complete tight end ever! gronky has it all the memorable big plays games/seasons and most important rings to back it all up !

  17. One aspect that is ignored in the HOF voting is personality and contribution to the league. Gronk has been a face of the league during his career. Everyone knows who Gronk is and most people have an affection for him. He is a big kid playing a man’s game. Jason Witten–a great player deserving of the HOF—but is he a household name? Not to vote Gronk into the hall first ballot would show arrogance on the part of the voters and would indicate that a change in the voting process should happen. Maybe players and fans should also participate.

  18. Gronk, I think you should play one or two more years to lock in the HOF and finish it out with Brady. Sincerely, Pats Fans.

  19. The loss of Edelman is more damaging to NE than the loss of Gronk, statistically speaking.

    Gronk may be the fire but without the spark of JE11 he’s a pile of logs.

    Both are borderline but should be in the HOF.

  20. Funniest thing I’ve read all year. No Patriot who played under Belicheat deserves to be in the HOF. Go play for an honest team first.

  21. Keeping T.O out showed that the HOF voting process was an old boys network more intent on personality and grudges than it was examining the numbers.

    That this is even a discussion further decreases the value of the “vote”, and pretty soon the HOF will just be a bunch of senile old guys talking about “back in my day”………

  22. As much as I don’t like the Patriots, Gronk is the epitome of fame. Don’t become like MLB with everything being an analysis of statistics. He is rightfully one of the greatest to ever play the position. I think he is a big dumb oaf, but he’s legit first ballot HOF…

  23. The Patriots are such a great TEAM that the greatness of their individual players is discounted by many fans and the media. Gronk is a perfect example.

    Despite his celebrity, size, flamboyance, and dominance on the playing field he does his job first and foremost. Mostly, he blocks. He’s dominant in the red zone. He’s a favorite of Brady in key situations but has been targeted less often over the last few years in large part to save his body which has been ravished by injury because smaller players target his legs and knees to tackle him.

    Comparing Gronk to tight-ends that are primarily receivers is foolish. Watching him block in this year’s playoffs was a joy. It didn’t matter if it was a large defensive end, a linebacker, or a quick safety, Gronk blew them out of the hole and Michel, Burkhead and White ran through the hole like it was the Callahan Tunnel.

    Then, at key junctures against the Chiefs and Rams he was an unstoppable offensive weapon. A safety plays inside coverage so Gronk catches it over his outside shoulder. Outside coverage he catches it inside despite double coverage with a third player getting there just too late. Need to move the ball quickly, he runs a wheel route because the linebacker falls for the fake block.

    My favorite plays were Gronk getting up after catching the ball at the five yard line or two yard line and then making a block that opened up an easy running touchdown.

    Brady’s right. The Patriots suck.

  24. Comparing Gronk to Kelce, Graham, or even Gonsalez is ridiculous. All three of them are trumped up WR’s who were liabilities as blockers. Gronk may be the last of the true TE’s who were BOTH key receivers AND blockers. Even if he walks away now, he will clearly be one of the top TE’s in the history of the game and worthy of a first ballot entry into the HOF.

    BTW- While injuries HAVE cost Gronk games, it should be noted that he HAS played in around 85% of the possible games. So it it wasn’t like he was out for a majority of his career

  25. whodatalien says:
    February 14, 2019 at 11:17 pm
    no he does NOT! hes the product of a gimmick offense

    ====================
    Don’t worry, your Jets will be a contender this year. LOL!!

  26. Truong Nguyen says:
    February 14, 2019 at 10:57 pm
    Slow your roll Mike…

    I certainly respect what the Pats have accomplished but neither Edelman or Gronk have done enough yet to be in the Hall of Very Good and Popular!

    >>>>>>>>>If Terrell Davis got in the HoF for playing 1/2 of a career(he ONLY had 4 good seasons out of 8 and 4 VERY BAD seasons) then Gronk damn sure deserves to, PERIOD!!!!!!!!!! IMHO Davis ruined everything being voted into the HoF stood for, now it’s virtually meaningless to get in the HoF, players are getting in for playing ONLY 4yrs, THAT’S IT.

  27. my_old_name_was_offensive says:
    February 14, 2019 at 10:43 pm
    Jason Witten was better…

    Eric Berry locked Gronk down!!! Quite easily actually…and who could forget that infamous game in Denver…when Gronk got tackled at the knee and he flailed around on the ground like he stepped on a land mine…got carted off the field for…wait for it…a bruised knee…! Witten was just as athletic, a better blocker and was always available…

    ———————————————

    You need to learn the difference between a normal bruise and a bone bruise.
    Gronk had the latter, which occurs when the bone itself gets a traumatic injury and the blood vessels in the bone gets crushed.
    Its far more painful than a regular bruise and takes significantly longer to heal.
    Its just one step below an actual bone fracture.

  28. If you read some of these comments
    the Pat’s have nobody of significance playing for them
    its all about the coach, the owner
    you don’t win championship’s as consistently as the Pat’s have, unless you have great players
    Brady, Gronk, Edelman are just a few names who stand out
    Losers whine, winners with class, that is the Patriot tradition
    no one shoots their mouths off, no one brags, no one disparges the other team

  29. As Coach Belichick says, stats are for losers. Florio’s article says it well. With Gronkowski, it’s all about versatility. He will do whatever he is asked to do to make the game plan works. And because this is an ever-changing game plan, BB likes players who are multi-dimensional and will contribute in any role, without regard to their personal stats. Through most of this season, Gronkowski’s principal role was blocking. The great success of the Patriots’ run game would not have been possible without that blocking, and Gronkowski said many times that he loved doing it. Wouldn’t it be something if all players were so happy to adapt to different situations and game plans?

    The problem that Gronkowski has (and, to some extent, Edelman), is that they play for a team where players are used in multiple and unconventional ways. I’d like to think that the Hall of Fame voters have the ability to see that they are looking at a guy with a unique skill set and performance, but we’ll have to wait a few years to see that.

  30. hailtothenamechange says:
    February 15, 2019 at 9:39 am
    Tight End A: 573 catches, 7,439 yards
    Tight End B: 521 catches, 7,861 yards

    One is Gronkowski. One is Vernon Davis. Can you tell the difference?

    —-
    Everyone who watches football can.

    Oronk is one of the best 2-3 tight ends who ever played. Vernon Davis is not.

  31. my_old_name_was_offensive says:
    February 14, 2019 at 10:43 pm

    Jason Witten was better…

    Eric Berry locked Gronk down!!! Quite easily actually…and who could forget that infamous game in Denver…when Gronk got tackled at the knee and he flailed around on the ground like he stepped on a land mine…got carted off the field for…wait for it…a bruised knee…! Witten was just as athletic, a better blocker and was always available…

    That day… yeah.

  32. two problems:
    1. gronk played for a team where the only stat that counts is team wins.

    2. the writers who vote on HOF are enamored by personal stats, don’t grasp #1 above, and don’t really know a hell of a lot about football.

  33. Kellen Winslow, Jason Witten, Tony Gonzalez,Gronk.Gates.Ozzie Newsome. Greg Olsen. Mike Diktka
    Im not arguing he should be 1st Ballot. But to say he is the greatest of all time hands down?!?! I disagree. Top 5 yes. 👍

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