- Former New England Patriots’ TE Rob Gronkowski announced his retirement last week
- Despite this, the Patriots are tied for the shortest average odds to win Super Bowl 54 with the Kansas City Chiefs
- Will New England march on without Gronk in their title defense, or is this the end of an era?
Fresh off winning another Super Bowl with the New England Patriots, Rob Gronkowski decided to call an end to his nine-year NFL career and retire from the NFL. Gronkowski has been one of the team’s most impactful players, however his departure has actually seen New England’s Super Bowl 54 odds shorten.
New England’s average odds were as high as +730 two weeks prior to Gronk’s retirement announcement.
Now at +710, are New England’s Super Bowl odds worth a bet, or is this the end of the Patriot dynasty?
Super Bowl 54 Odds
|Kansas City Chiefs||+750|
|New England Patriots||+800|
|New Orleans Saints||+800|
*Odds taken 04/02/19.
Through his nine years with New England, Gronk won three Super Bowls with the Pats. He retires with 521 receptions, 7,861 yards, and 79 touchdowns during the regular season.
According to Pro Football Focus, there have been seven seasons where a TE has earned a PFF grade of 90 or more. The first six of those seasons all belong to Gronkowski.
All the feels.
There were a lot of special moments over the last nine years, and we enjoyed every single one of them. Thank you, Gronk. pic.twitter.com/GHzbhAOt2t
— New England Patriots (@Patriots) March 27, 2019
Gronkowski retires with a bevy of records and will almost certainly find himself in the Hall of Fame sooner rather than later.
Just a few of his remarkable accomplishments include: being the only tight end to lead the league in receiving touchdowns, being the only tight end with 1,000-plus postseason receiving yards, and holding the record for the most touchdowns by a tight end in a season with 18. However the list of records runs deep.
Gronk is retiring with an absolutely preposterous amount of NFL records pic.twitter.com/vpmxWlc6vq
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) March 24, 2019
Tight Ends Don’t Move the Number
For as much as New England has relied on Gronk over the years to be a part of their passing attack, the loss of a tight end rarely even affects the weekly betting line on a typical Sunday. As we can see by the line movement actually shortening on the Pats in the post-Gronk era, bookmakers don’t seem to be too concerned.
That could be because Gronk’s numbers have been slowly declining. Much of that can be due to the fact he’s constantly battling injuries. Last season he played in 13 games and the season before 14. The 2016 season saw the former TE play in just eight. Yet, the Patriots still went on to win the Super Bowl that season anyways.
Could TJ Hockenson or Jace Sternberger replace Rob Gronkowski? pic.twitter.com/1mdHEEIkH9
— Patriots on NBCSB (@NBCSPatriots) April 1, 2019
In fact, Gronkowski hasn’t played a full 16-game regular season since way back in 2011 during his second year as a pro. That season, as well as his rookie year in 2010, were the only years he’d done so.
Though it was only 2017 which saw him crack the 1,000 yard receiving mark for the fourth time, last year’s 682 yards, was much less impressive. He also tied a career-low for TDs last year with only three, the same amount he had in an eight-game 2016.
Gronk tied a career-low for TDs last year with only three, the same amount he had in an eight-game 2016.
So while the production of the soon-to-be 30-year-old was clearly declining, it would still be foolish to say he won’t be missed. His 79 touchdowns are the most from any player since joining the league in 2010.
Rob Gronkowski retires. Maintains he lived off his endorsement income and didn’t spend a dime of the $60M he earned in salary throughout his career.
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) March 24, 2019
But it wasn’t just Gronk whose numbers declined in 2018. Tom Brady will be 42 before this season begins and was much less-inclined to throw deep during his 19th season. He also recorded his lowest quarterback rating since 2014.
Don’t Bet the Patriots Repeating
With the third-most receptions on the team last year, the Pats will need to fill Gronk’s void in a passing game lacking many big-play threats. They also need to resign kicker Stephen Gostkowski.
A source says not much happening between #Patriots and kicker Steven Gostkowski. Money is an issue (shocking) though "there's still plenty of time."
— Michael Giardi (@MikeGiardi) April 2, 2019
The Pats will no doubt be in the mix once again. With Brady and Belichick playing in the AFC East, the playoffs are basically a given. But with a 42-year-old quarterback, less offensive weapons and short odds, I think your money should go elsewhere.
No team has repeated as champs since coincidentally the Patriots in 2004-05.
It’s still plenty early. But with teams like the Browns and Colts also favored to win their respective divisions in the AFC, but offering far greater returns of +1400 and +1600, either option could present more betting value.
Let's have fun and keep it civil.