America's Team: Why it's time to part with Gronk

A funny thing happened at the office this morning.

Los Angeles' notoriously congested I-405 freeway was even worse than usual. I left home earlier than usual because I was hoping to leave today and get back home in time for kickoff of Stanford and Oregon, but I still ended up pulling into the parking structure 15 minutes late. Damn traffic. As soon as I sat down at my desk, Michael Fabiano and Akbar Gbaja-Biamila sternly indicated they needed to see me. Immediately.

"Great," I thought to myself. "What's the number for the California unemployment office?"

But that wasn't what they wanted to talk about. They couldn't have cared any less about my tardiness. This was far more urgent and business-like. We went into a quiet office in the back of the building where no one else could see or hear anything. :::Gulp::: And like an IRS agent who enters your home with the firm determination of performing an audit, they quickly made their intentions known. "We wanted to talk to you about Rob Gronkowski."

For the next 15 minutes or so, I felt like I was called in front of two Presidential candidates because everyone else had voted, the election was currently tied and my vote would determine the presidency. Or like I getting pitched to buy a timeshare condo in Florida. Somewhere in between those two.

Here's a brief State of the Union: America's Team just lost Aaron Rodgers for an extended amount of time, and I know most of you aren't exactly going to brag to your grandkids one day about having once been part of a team led by Ryan Tannehill, so we need a replacement QB. Badly. We could always turn to the waiver wire scrap heap, but other team managers know that, so they also know they need to sweeten the deal if they want Gronk that badly. We could also use a much better running back to complement Marshawn Lynch, and productive RBs are very rarely found on waivers at this point in the year. This, however, is where we need trade partners more than they need us. America's Team needs to make a trade to balance out our roster. Our problems run deeper than just plugging in Case Keenum or Nick Foles from waivers and hoping they can fill in adequately until Rodgers returns -- if he even does at all.

So, back to the office. I then remembered that the management of America's Team isn't entirely up to me, because I need to first poll my constituents to determine our appropriate collective course of action. This is your team, not mine. Consider me as your manager of a corporation you own -- my executive powers are very limited. So, I thought it'd be best to whip out my phone and let both Fabs and Akbar address America directly to make their cases for which trade would make the most sense for us. Akbar was up first. He was his sales pitch was relentless, oath-laden, and emphatic. Fabs was much calmer, but no less incisive.

Jason Smith, who had yet to enter the office, had been enquiring about making a trade for weeks. When he heard the news, he naturally wanted the chance to state his case. Who am I to say no? Equal opportunity and all that.

You elected me as your fantasy representative to give my opinions, so here goes: I don't like Fab's trade offer at all. Tom Brady has been far too inconsistent to interest me, and I wanted to get rid of some of our Patriots, not try to add more. Fabs is also throwing in Houston's entire backfield of Arian Foster and Ben Tate, which is not bad on the surface. The problem it presents is we are only allowed to play two running backs. We already have Marshawn Lynch, so we'd be left guessing as to whether Tate or Foster would be the better option to play each week and whether we should even start either instead of Stevan Ridley

Now, let's examine Akbar's offer. We get Jordan Reed, who has shown the ability to post elite stats, but not at a consistent level. I could live with him at tight end when I look at everything else we're getting. I'd be much happier starting Fred Jackson opposite Marshawn Lynch in our lineup than I would BenJarvus Green-Ellis, who I may just waive anyway. I don't think Michael Vick is done playing this year -- Nick Foles still has a horrific outing or two left in him. Only problem is ... Vick wouldn't help us this week, so we'd have to go QB shopping on the waiver wire anyway (unless you want to just go ahead with Tannehill for one week against the woeful Bucs).

Finally, Jason Smith made an offer: Philip Rivers and Chris Ivory for Rob Gronkowksi and Torrey Smith. I do like the thought of Rivers on the roster since he'll be one of the better fantasy QBs to start around playoff time and would serve as nice insurance in case Aaron Rodgers doesn't return. I also like having Ivory as a very capable RB2. But even though America's Team is deep at WR, I'm less than wild about the thought of parting with Smith to make that happen.

So there you have it, America. However, as I said earlier, the ultimate decision is up to you, not me. We're currently sitting atop our division, but the lead is very precarious. There are three other owners in our league lusting after Rob Gronkowski as if he's the holy grail in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. It's time to decide what we want to do.


John Juhasz is a fantasy editor at NFL.com. Follow him on Twitter: @JohnJuhasz

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