Rob Gronkowski’s injury woes have been the topic of conversation for much of the off-season for the New England Patriots. The topic of his deteriorating health has been beaten like a dead horse all over the media. And yet, the incessant coverage of Gronkowski makes sense.
When any player has six surgeries in a little over a year, some chatter from the media should be expected. But when a player the caliber of Gronkowski, who is set to enter the second year of a six-year, $53 million contract signed in June 2012, goes under the knife six times, the media frenzy cannot be avoided.
Gronkowski had successful back surgery on May 31. A day before the surgery took place, Drew Rosenhaus, the agent that represents Gronkowski, downplayed the severity of Gronkowski’s back surgery and the eventual aftermath that ensued on WQAM radio in Miami a week ago:
“This is a lingering problem that Rob’s had for a while that’s he’s been playing with, actually through all of last season,” Rosenhaus told Joe Rose of WQAM. “The recovery will be very comparable to the amount of time he’ll miss with the arm surgery. So why not get it down and make sure when he is healthy he’s 100 percent and doesn’t have to address the back down the road?”
Rosenhaus also contended that the back surgery is “not serious” and unrelated to the back injury that kept Gronkowski sidelined for the entirety of his senior season at Arizona.
“This is a new injury and it’s minor, it’s not as significant [as the prior back injury],” Rosenhaus said. “I don’t think it’s a big deal, I think it’s more preventive maintenance than anything else. It’s something that, although he needs it, he’s had it for a while and he’s been able to function.”
To put it bluntly, Rosenhaus is not a very reliable source. He is constantly representing a player that is in contract squabbles with their respective team. Years ago on the Dan Patrick Show, he asserted that the NFL would be in “shambles” without the presence of sports agents. Suffice to say, Rosenhaus thinks he is above some people and it’s inherently clear in his attempts to lure NFL teams into bad contracts.
It should be no surprise that Rosenhaus continues to provide encouraging words for his client Gronkowski, especially since the All-Pro tight end is currently signed to such a lucrative contract. After Gronkowski’s surgery, Rosenhaus spoke bold words of Gronkowski.
“I just think he’s going to have a very long, Hall of Fame career, and I don’t anticipate this difficult stretch that he’s had to be a long-term factor for him,” Rosenhaus said on SportsCenter. “… He’s one of a kind. Nothing’s going to slow this guy down. He’s a ton of fun to represent and an amazing client.”
Gronkowski had all the potential for a Hall of Fame career before the injuries. And he still may see his name enshrined in Canton, Ohio one day. But as of right now, the Patriots’ organization and fans have every reason to be worried about Gronkowski. The wounds continue to pile up for Gronkowski and encouraging words from his cheerleader-like agent should be taken with merely a grain of salt.