SportsNation Blog ArchivesSN Blog Archives Rob Gronkowski

In 2012, Jason Witten posted receiverlike numbers. He was 30. Tony Gonzalez wasn't far behind, at age 36. Will the over-30 club rule the tight end landscape in 2013? Or will younger players -- such as Pro Bowl MVP Kyle Rudolph -- take over? And what to make of undeniably talented but oft-injured New England Patriot Rob Gronkowski? Click on the boxes below to set your rankings!

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NFL TEs in 2013

Martellus Bennett

Martellus Bennett

Bears
2012: 55 rec, 626 yards, 5 TDs

Jared Cook

Jared Cook

Rams
2012: 44 rec, 523 yards, 4 TDs

Owen Daniels

Owen Daniels

Texans
2012: 62 rec, 716 yards, 6 TDs

Vernon Davis

Vernon Davis

49ers
2012: 41 rec, 548 yards, 5 TDs

Jermichael Finley

Jermichael Finley

Packers
2012: 61 rec, 667 yards, 2 TDs

Antonio Gates

Antonio Gates

Chargers
2012: 49 rec, 538 yards, 7 TDs

Tony Gonzalez

Tony Gonzalez

Falcons
2012: 93 rec, 930 yards, 8 TDs

Jimmy Graham

Jimmy Graham

Saints
2012: 85 rec, 982 yards, 9 TDs

Rob Gronkowski

Rob Gronkowski

Patriots
2012: 55 rec, 790 yards, 11 TDs

Brandon Myers

Brandon Myers

Giants
2012: 79 rec, 806 yards, 4 TDs

Greg Olsen

Greg Olsen

Panthers
2012: 69 rec, 843 yards, 5 TDs

Brandon Pettigrew

Brandon Pettigrew

Lions
2012: 59 rec, 567 yards, 3 TDs

Kyle Rudolph

Kyle Rudolph

Vikings
2012: 53 rec, 493 yards, 9 TDs

Jason Witten

Jason Witten

Cowboys
2012: 110 rec, 1,039 yards, 3 TDs

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Rob Gronkowski's health

Rob Gronkowski's career has been about big numbers. In 2011, that meant 90 catches and 17 touchdowns. In 2012 and so far in 2013, the big number is four -- as in he's about to have a fourth surgery on his twice-fractured left forearm. A post-surgical infection made the third procedure necessary, and the fourth is reportedly to replace a metal plate in his arm. While Gronk is expected to return as training camp starts, should the Patriots be worried about his ability to stay healthy? Vote below!

  • Rob Gronkowski will have his fourth surgery on his left forearm next week. How worried should the Patriots be about Gronkowski's durability?

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      64%
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      32%
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      4%

    Discuss (Total votes: 74,006)

  • How many regular-season games do you expect Rob Gronkowski to play in 2013?

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      8%
    •  
      9%
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      29%
    •  
      28%
    •  
      26%

    Discuss (Total votes: 10,355)

  • Rob Gronkowski has played three NFL seasons. Which will his 2013 most closely resemble?

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      59%
    •  
      17%
    •  
      24%

    Discuss (Total votes: 9,929)

  • Do the Patriots need a healthy Rob Gronkowski to be a Super Bowl contender?

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      81%
    •  
      19%

    Discuss (Total votes: 10,070)

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The ''breath of fresh air'' storyline is a pretty common one whenever a struggling team gets a new coach. It generally goes like this: The old system that the previous (unsuccessful) coach used was a busted relic, while the system the new (and hopefully successful) coach is cooking up is a work of genius. Most of the time, it's pure hype, but in the case of the Eagles, who seem to be buying into Chip Kelly's fast-break system, there might be something to it. Kelly already has influenced pro offenses with his hurry-up style devised when he was Oregon's coach. We would appreciate you not bringing this up a year from now, in the event Kelly's offense doesn't quite translate to the NFL.

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Improved Eagles?

Last season's Eagles looked demoralized as they went 4-12, but a new game plan could turn them around quickly, considering the talent they possess.

SportsNation

The Eagles went 4-12 in 2012. How many games will they improve by this season under Chip Kelly?

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    7%
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    17%
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    35%
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    23%
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    18%

Discuss (Total votes: 8,790)

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Normally, the Patriots are pretty strong at tight end -- one might argue that they have the best 1-2 punch in the league -- but there's reason for concern heading into this season. Rob Gronkowski's battling a mysterious arm infection, and Aaron Hernandez will miss significant time in the preseason after having shoulder surgery. It's difficult to imagine the modern Patriots without a huge emphasis on their tight end passing game, but they might have to make do if neither player can stay healthy.

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Patriots' outlook?

The modern Patriots are nearly always on the short list of preseason Super Bowl contenders, but if their tight ends are at less than 100 percent, they might be in for a disappointment.

SportsNation

How many games will the Patriots win this season?

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    7%
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    36%
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    47%
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    10%

Discuss (Total votes: 5,357)

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When he's healthy, Rob Gronkowski is probably the best tight end in football. ''When he's healthy'' being the key phrase here -- Gronkowski has had several injuries that caused him to miss key games in his career, and reports of a possible fourth surgery on his left forearm don't seem to bode well for his future robustness. The Patriots are known for their punishing passing attack, but without a healthy Gronk, they're just not the same team.

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Walking wounded?

All three of the Patriots' marquee receiving threats have had injury issues. Danny Amendola missed nearly all of the 2011 season, while Aaron Hernandez has never played the entirety of a 16-game season.

SportsNation

Who will be the Patriots' most valuable receiver this season?

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    18%
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    44%
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    30%
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    8%

Discuss (Total votes: 4,760)

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