Tonight’s Phinsider Question Of The Day is again based on an article that I read and found interesting. As every football fan has heard, hell everyone alive on the planet may have heard that former New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski retired, took a year off and then un-retired and then got his rights traded to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers so that he could rejoin playing with quarterback Tom Brady. The question raised was will his so called “gap” year now inspire other veterans to do the same thing?
We have seen quite a few players throughout the years retire and then return to play football for another few years, so this is not some new phenomenon. The difference here is that Gronk was clearly in his prime and one of the best players and most unstoppable players in the NFL when he just decided to walk away, even if it was just for a year. I for one could see this being a huge problem if it did become a “thing” in the NFL. Teams sign and draft players based on what they have on the roster, who they have under contract and the projections for each of those players as to how long they will remain viable starters, affordable, etc...
Having players up and take a year off whenever they feel like it because they are now flush with cash and can afford to do so clearly has it’s appeal from a personal standpoint but also could very clearly be detrimental to teams trying to constantly plan not only for the right now but the future. I would find it terrifying as a general manager or head coach if I did not know which of my stars might decide on a whim to take the next season off to visit the world or find themselves or whatever other reasons they may have. I clearly understand that the players are well within their rights to do this as teams can cut you on a dime without a seconds notice, thus fair is fair.
My question is if others become “inspired” by the weird Gronk saga and decide to take a gap year how much does that hurt teams when they don’t know when or if the player will even return? What are your thoughts?