Tony Gonzalez: Rob Gronkowski could be best tight end in NFL history

Feb 1, 2015; Glendale, AZ, USA; in Super Bowl XLIX at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Rob Gronkowski is undoubtedly the NFL’s premier tight end, but one legend believes the New England Patriots star could ultimately finish his career at the top of the position.

According to Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald, Gonzalez said Gronkowski has a chance to become the greatest tight end in NFL history. Gonzalez said:

“Yes, absolutely. I’ll say this, as long as he’s got Tom Brady there—and Tom says he wants to play another seven years until he’s 45 years old—he has a shot, absolutely.”

Through five seasons, Gronkowski has racked up 308 receptions for 4,379 yards and 54 touchdowns. However, two of those years were shortened by injury, so Gronk has appeared in 65 of 80 possible games.

Most importantly, though, the 26-year-old is entering the prime of his career with a Hall of Fame quarterback in Brady still throwing passes. Since Gronkowski tallied a career-best 131 targets even while missing one game last season, it’s somewhat scary to consider his ceiling in 2015.

But as far as Gronkowski’s potential career achievement, that conversation is still a couple years away.

Gonzalez accumulated 1,325 receptions, 15,127 yards and 111 touchdowns during his 17 NFL seasons. While it’s feasible Gronkowski could break the touchdown mark in approximately five years, he trails Gonzalez by 1,000 catches and 10,000 yards.

Gronkowski certainly has the potential to ascend the tight end greatness scale, but avoiding injury and adjusting to the post-Brady quarterback will play critical roles in that chase.

For now, focus on Gronkowski’s weekly dominance. Even if he doesn’t become the greatest of all time, Gronk is a special player—one that we should appreciate each time he’s on the field.