What to make of Robert Kraft’s comments on Tom Brady’s departure

Knowing what we know now about the roster, the New England Patriots’ would have needed to pull off a miracle to make the playoffs last season.

After all, eight players opted out, multiple starters departed in free agency, and new quarterback Cam Newton was coming off major shoulder surgery, didn’t sign until just before the start of training camp, and tested positive for COVID-19 just as he found a groove under center.

As a result, the Patriots finished 7-9 missed the playoffs for the first time since 2008.

Those shortcomings, of course, were amplified by their decision not to

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Tom Brady’s departure from the Patriots may feel like an open wound. Rob Gronkowski’s is far less complicated

But if Brady’s departure remains a sort of open wound, a free agent exit that left fans alternately heartbroken and angry, Gronk’s exit, despite being engineered in an even more deliberate way than Brady’s, feels far less emotionally complicated.

The lovable lug didn’t do the Patriots any favors on his way out, not when he delayed his retirement announcement long enough to keep an unsure front office off the tight end market and not again when his post-retirement trade demand (Brady or bust) left them with little to no bargaining power.

With Gronk, however, shrewdness and savvy have never been

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