New England Patriots Should Plan for Worst After Rob Gronkowski's Back Surgery

Remember that eight-year, $55.23 million contract the New England Patriots gave Rob Gronkowski after his monster season? Well, the Pats are about to eat some serious cash because the Gronk is set to have yet another surgery this offseason and this time it’s his back.

Now in case you didn’t know, Gronkowski has had four total surgeries on his forearm that is seemingly always broke, including one earlier this month. In addition, he missed his entire junior season at Arizona after back surgery and not only is that not a simple procedure, some players never come back from it, at least at the same level they were before.

Gronkowski is a big guy who can run like a gazelle, so he takes a lot of shots while catching passes, especially ones that are over his head. That’s why his forearm is never fully healed and NFL players coming off back surgeries redefine the phrase red flag. In other words, Gronkowski being “questionable” or even “doubtful” for Week 1 is being very optimistic.

The Patriots brought in Danny Amendola this offseason, but he won’t be enough to compensate for the loss of Wes Welker and Gronkowski, who could be out a lot longer than you might think.