Patriots briefly re-issued Rob Gronkowski’s former quantity to a large receiver


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As trivial as a jersey quantity could be, they do carry a particular which means in sports activities. One have a look at a sure quantity and a selected participant — together with their lengthy listing of accomplishments — begins firing up the reminiscence financial institution and turns into as recognizable as their precise face. In New England, the No. 87 definitely falls into that class after Rob Gronkowski developed into arguably the best tight finish in NFL historical past whereas sporting that quantity in Foxborough. Whereas there is definitely a case for the Patriots to retire No. 87, they did lately hand it out to former undrafted extensive receiver Devin Ross throughout obligatory minicamp as he was going via a tryout. 

As ESPN’s Mike Reiss factors out, nonetheless, the membership has since given Ross the No. 8 after formally signing him to the 90-man roster. 

Once more, this can be a small footnote in what has been a busy offseason for the Patriots however definitely noteworthy, particularly as it might be tipping New England’s hand because it pertains to the membership probably retiring Gronkowski’s quantity in the future. Would they’ve given No. 12 to a free agent quarterback when he was making an attempt out for the crew? Appears unlikely. 

Exterior of Tom Brady — who’s a digital lock to have his No. 12 retired sooner or later — Gronkowski is not far behind when wanting again on the legends who’ve helped the Patriots to its six Tremendous Bowl titles over the past twenty years. Whenever you speak about this dynasty, the dialog would not final very lengthy earlier than mentioning the five-time Professional Bowler. 

That stated, Bruce Armstrong is the one participant of the seven that at the moment have their numbers retired with New England to have overlapped with Invoice Belichick throughout his tenure as head coach. Apart from that, no Belichick-era participant has obtained such an honor. As an alternative, their numbers have been put again into circulation with Ty Regulation’s No. 24, Tedy Bruschi’s No. 54, and Adam Vinatieri’s No. 4 being a few of the latest examples which might be at the moment being donned by another person. 

Whereas his quantity is not formally retired, legendary move rusher Andre Tippett’s No. 56 has been unofficially retired and out of circulation for fairly some time. One might make the case that Gronkowski’s impression on the franchise warrants an identical therapy, so it’s going to be curious to see how they function after No. 87 briefly made an look this offseason. 



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