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Bob Kraft on Rob Gronkowski: 'He should still be great'

By Will Brinson | NFL Writer

Bob Kraft thinks Rob Gronkowski will return to being 'great.' (USATSI)Bob Kraft thinks Rob Gronkowski will return to being 'great.' (USATSI)

Have we written enough about Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski this offseason? I guess not, because Gronkowski is in the news again.

Kind of, anyway. Pats owner Bob Kraft said at the NFL owners meetings in Boston on Tuesday that the team got as "good a report as we could've hoped" when it came to the tight end.

"We were told it was as good a report as we could've hoped. That made me feel good," Kraft said per Mike Garafolo of USA Today. "I heard about it late afternoon, and once again had a chat late at night after our dinner meeting was over. And so, we just hope for the best."

Gronk underwent a fourth surgery on his forearm Monday and the early results are encouraging: doctors believe, per CBS Sports Jason La Canfora, that they finally removed the infection from Gronk's forearm.

Now there's just the pesky matter of Gronk's back injury, which could also require surgery in the coming weeks. That issue isn't deterring Kraft from projecting a return to Gronk's standard form, however. He says Gronk "still should be great."

"That's part of the parity and challenge -- trying to be good year in and year out, having a cap. We all have to make decisions with the information we have at hand," Kraft said. "We think long-term, he still should be great. We'll see."

Kraft's response was actually in response to the monster deal that Gronk got from the Patriots last summer, signing for six years and $54 million.

That deal was given to Gronkowski after a 90-catch, 1,327-yard, 17-touchdown behemoth of a season. The tight end wasn't that far off that pace last season before injuring his forearm while blocking a kick.

Prorate his numbers over 16 games and Gronk would've finished with 80 catches, 1,149 yards and 16 touchdowns. Not identical numbers, obviously, but it's a reminder that, throughout all of this offseason health drama, Gronkowski isn't that far removed from being one of the most dangerous weapons in the NFL.

Which means that Kraft's got a reasonable chance of being right after all.

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