New England's Rob Gronkowski may have gone too far at a nightclub in Las Vegas Monday night (Photo : Reuters)
Star New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski has proved, once again, that he's still just a kid. The 23-year-old player is one of the most prolific receivers on the field and helped catapult to Patriots into the playoffs, even though he sat on the bench the latter part of the season do to a broken left forearm, that he reportedly put in harm's way Monday night.
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Despite the stars eccentricities, the Patriot's organization puts up with Gronkowski's antics because of what he produces on the field. In the 2011 regular season, Gronkowski played in 16 games, had 90 receptions for 1,327 yards, and caught 17 touchdowns.
But this time, Gronkowski may have gone too far. The Patriots are used to hearing stories of Gronkoswki posing with strippers and making a fool out of himself in various parties and clubs, but on Monday night the tight end was seen proving his irresponsibility.
According to TMZ, he was seen in a Las Vegas nightclub banging his broken arm on the floor in a candid, shirtless wrestling match. As of now there are no reports of further injury, but coach Bill Belichick and the rest of the New England franchise must be shaking their heads in shame and disbelief.
Gronkowski signed a $54 million contract extension at the end of last year's season. The team has expressed great interest in keeping him around, so one would think that he would take care of himself in return. The New England nation needs him to be 100 percent for next season.
The Patriots have yet to crack down on his behavior. It's hard to tell the young superstar not to have fun. As Patriots wide receiver Wes Welker told Shutdown Corner last year, "he's just one of those guys. He's funny, and he's just being himself. We always tell him, 'Dude, don't change for anything...' Believe it or not, he's a pretty intelligent guy. He does a good job of being in the plays for the coaches, and he's so physically gifted that he's able to make some plays for us."
It's good that players like Welker are so encouraging of Gronkowski, but where is the management going to draw the line? By jeopardizing his own well being, he's jeopardizing the team's ability to perform next season. At some point, we all need to grow up.