Gronk for Watt? NFL exec says Gronkowski the riskier trade target

Gronk for Watt? NFL exec says Gronkowski the riskier trade target

Joel Corry of CBS Sports took a very long look at whether the Texans could possibly trade J.J. Watt. While it is not a report of anything being imminent, it does explore the idea detailed fashion, with NFL executives and agents providing their thoughts. 

So what does that have to do with the Patriots? In trying to gauge Watt’s potential value, he brought up a hypothetical trade for Rob Gronkowski. After all, both players are 27-year-old superstars with back concerns and the Patriots would have the cap space to add Watt while re-signing Martellus Bennett. 

As Corry put it, the idea of a Watt-for-Gronkowski swap “received mixed reviews,” with one executive saying Gronkowski is a far riskier trade acquisition than Watt. 

“I can’t imagine the teams making this trade,” the executive said. “Gronkowski’s back and injury history scares me much more than Watt’s.”

Wrote Corry: 

Another executive was intrigued by it. He thought more than New England’s 2017 first-round pick (32nd overall) would be required in addition to Gronkowski for the deal to make sense for the Texans but didn’t specify what else would be necessary.

Gronkowski’s back issues date back to 2009, his junior and final season at University of Arizona. He had back surgery in June of 2013 and suffered a season-ending herniated disk this past season. 

Watt, meanwhile, was limited to three games in 2016 by a herniated disk. He was placed on injured reserve in late September and underwent back surgery shortly after. 

Jets' Brandon Marshall: Brady not the best player ever

Jets' Brandon Marshall: Brady not the best player ever

After engineering the epic comeback that led to his fifth Super Bowl title and fourth Super Bowl MVP award, the Tom-Brady-as-the-best-QB-ever movement is at its peak.

The likely runner-up in that argument, Joe Montana, said he's reluctant to call anyone the greatest when you're comparing eras.

Quarterbacks, of course, always get all the glory, as well as all of the criticism. So, some observers have even gone so far as to declare the Patriots quarterback as the best NFL player ever, regardless of position. 

Jets receiver Brandon Marshall won't co-sign on that. 

"He's not the best player ever," Marshall told NJ Advance Media. "No."

Marshall's vote goes to...J.J. Watt?

"We get caught up in that whole discussion, that when a quarterback is playing really well, he's probably the best in the business, and we think he's the best player," Marshall said. "And that's not true. When I think about player, I think about a guy that I can put at corner, safety, defensive end, a guy that I can put back on punt return, chase down kicks.

"That, to me, is the best player. J.J. Watt, that can play defensive end, tight end, put him at tackle, make him lose some weight and he can probably play linebacker and safety. That's the best player."

That's his best current player, but all-time? 

"Man, that's tough," Marshall said. "I would put J.J. Watt in that discussion. I would put Reggie White in that discussion. I would put Deion [Sanders] in that discussion. I would put Jerry Rice in that discussion. That would probably be impossible [to say for sure]."