In the final moments of the Buffalo Bills' 23-3 loss to the New England Patriots, Tre'Davious White intercepted Tom Brady on a pass intended for tight end Rob Gronkowski. The Patriots play the Miami Dolphins next.
A reporter asked Gronkowski if the hit was a culmination of feelings from the officiating toward him over the last couple years and the tight end answered, "Most of the past couple seven years (his entire career)".
After the play was over, White was laying face down on the Patriots sideline when the 6-foot-6, 265-pound Gronkowski leapt and dropped his full body weight on the rookie. But NFL vice president of football operations Jon Runyan did not accept Gronkowski's defense.
"Your actions were not incidental, could have been avoided and placed the opposing player at risk of serious injury", Runyan said in the press release. "The Competition Committee has clearly expressed its goal of 'eliminating flagrant hits that have no place in our game.' Those hits include the play you were involved in yesterday". White was taken to the locker room with a head injury. "There was just no need for that in the game we play".
To earn his maximum salary for 2017, Gronkowski would need to record 25 catches or 351 receiving yards over the final three weeks of the regular season - an average of 8.3 catches or 117 yards per game. "I'm not in the business of that".
"First of all, I definitely want to apologize to number 27", said Gronkowski. Gronkowski was called for unnecessary roughness, but not kicked out of the game. Gronk apologized for the hit, but said after the game that he was frustrated by inconsistent calls against him.
Then Gronkowski added this: "I just don't understand why there wasn't a flag. It was just frustration, and that's what happened". White was making a lot of contact with the tight end, but wasn't flagged for holding or pass interference. It's like insane. Like, what am I supposed to do? "It was just frustration, and that's what happened".