BOSTON (CBS) – What the heck is going on with Rob Gronkowski?

It was believed earlier this week that Gronk would make his return to the Patriots on Sunday against the New Orleans Saints. But on Friday, there is “less optimism” that he will play on Sunday, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. There is another report that surfaced saying there were issues between Gronk’s camp and the Patriots medical staff, and that the tight end could have let the bone heal on its own last season. Instead, he underwent surgery in hopes of a return for the playoffs, leading to the second break and three more surgeries on the arm.

NFL Network’s Albert Breer joined 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Toucher & Rich on Friday to try to sort out the mess, and says the picture is starting to get a lot clearer.

“You talk to enough people around Gronk, you hear how he needed to get playing strength back up and the arm was kind of a problem, now we get a full picture of it,” said Breer.

Breer said Gronkowski’s contract also plays a big factor in the delay of his return.

“He signed in 2012 after two years in the pros. What that did was it took the two years left on his current deal and added $18 million in new money to it,” explained Breer. “The last four years, from 2016-2019, has $36 million to it. The contract doubles and he has a $20 roster bonus at the beginning of 2016. I know he wants to play, but you can’t doubt there is someone out there telling him he needs to be healthy in 2016.”

“The downside is that the player looks at it, and they go a little further trying to protect themselves. There is no question if you’re Gronk you have to look at this and ‘say two-thirds of my contract is from 2016 and on,’” Breer continued. “The most important thing for him is to get through the 2015 season healthy.”

If Gronk is still hurt at the trade deadline, could the Pats make a move for Tony Gonzalez? Bert Breer breaks it all down on Toucher & Rich:



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