Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski are yet to turn up for the New England Patriots voluntary organized team activities (OTAs) this offseason, but fans of the franchise will be hoping that the team's two star players show up sooner rather than later.
Brady will be hoping that Gronkowski is able to stay in shape during the offseason despite not being at the Patriots' OTAs, as the stats show that the quarterback is a much better performer on the field when his tight end is fit and healthy.
Brady and the Patriots may have been able to win a Super Bowl two years ago without Gronkowski playing on the turf, but the stats clearly show that the 40-year-old benefits from having the 29-year-old alongside him on the offense.
According to The Big Lead, since Gronkowski entered the league in 2010, Brady has played 113 games alongside him and has completed 2771 of 4332 passing attempts (65.5%) for 33217 passing yards (7.85 YPA), 255 passing touchdowns, and 55 interceptions.
However, things go downhill for the Patriots quarterback when Gronk isn't on the field, as Brady has played 30 games without, only completing 711 of 1182 passing attempts (60.2%) for 8198 passing yards, 51 passing touchdowns, and 22 interceptions.
This is a sign that if one of either Brady or Gronkowski is off, things could decline quickly in New England. When you take a look as to how this translates into a 16-game spell, the stats become even clearer.
On average, over 16 games with Gronk, Brady completes 392 of 599 passing attempts for 4703 passing yards, 36 touchdowns, and eight interceptions. Without the tight end, the Patriots quarterback completes 379 of 630 passing attempts for 4372 passing yards, 27 touchdowns, and 12 interceptions.
Without Gronkowski on the field, Brady's passing yards and touchdowns go down while his interceptions go up. Brady goes from playing on the same level as Aaron Rodgers as one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL when his tight end is on the field, to playing like Ryan Tannehill when he's not.
Patriots fans will be hoping that both players appear at their training facility soon so that the team's demise happens later rather than sooner.