And just like that Rob Gronkowski was back in the NFL with his good friend Tom Brady in Tampa with the Buccaneers.
Gronkowski who retired in the spring of 2019, wanted to try to creat that magic one more time again with Tom Brady as the Buccaneers sent a fourth round to the pick to the New England Patriots for a seventh round and Gronkowski.
The Bucs have two picks in the fourth round and will give up pick their second pick in the fourth which is pick number 139.
It all seems surreal that the Bucs would be able to get the greatest quarterback of all time Tom Brady to come Tampa, and now one of the best tight ends to ever play the game Rob Gronkowski is in Tampa.
For his career, Gronkowski has 521 catches for 7,861 yards and 101 touchdowns.
It seems that the curse is starting to lift off this Buccaneer franchise and the sun is starting to shine again.
At his pre-draft press conference, Bucs GM Jason Licht was asked about the possibility of Gronkowski joining Brady in Tampa and he downplayed the possibility saying. “I have no idea if he would want to play. Thats like asking about another player on another team.”
On the surface it seems like the Bucs fleeced the Patriots on his deal.
The Patriots are in salary cap hell having just over one million dollars in cap space, and having Gronkowski come back and play for the Patriots would have limited the roster construction that Belichick has planed for the Pats and the 2020 season.
Gronkowski, from 2010 to 2015 was hands down the best tight end in the game. From 2016-18 the last three years of his career, Gronkowski missed 13 games and was limited with one nagging injury after another.
Gronkowski had hamstring injuries, a back injury, groin issues, a thigh problem and a concussion. He was only 28 years old but that body had taken a beating and was beginning to slow down.
His final season in 2018 Gronkowski had 47 catches for 682 yards, and three touchdowns.
Gronkowski saved his best for last as he had six catches for 87 yards in the Patriots 13-3 win over the LA Rams in the Super Bowl.
Sometimes taking some time off and getting your mind rested again and letting the nagging injuries heal can rejuvenate an athlete and the Bucs are hoping that is what will happen with Gronkowski.
With Brady under center, he will Have Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Rob Gronkowski, and OJ Howard as targets as this offense is loaded and this trade immediately makes the Bucs one of the favorites in the NFC.
The Bucs do have four tight ends on the roster and someone is going to have to go. The Bucs will have to make a decision by May 4th to pick up the fifth year option on OJ Howard’s contract.
One thing about Bruce Arians offense is that he has never used a tight end as a huge part of the offense.
Arians is no dummy, and has one of the best offensive minds in the NFL and he will find a way to utilize Gronkowski.
Gronkowski will be 31 years old when the season starts. With OJ Howard and Cameron Brate as tight ends on the roster, Gronkowski should not be needed to play a high percentage of snaps and shouldn’t be the primary target.
Arians will pick the spots in the game where Gronkowski will be most effective and will try to keep him fresh for the stretch run.
Gronkowski has lost some weight since his playing days. He last played at around 268 his last season in New England, and would probably need to gain another 25-30 pounds to play at tight end this season.
Gronkowski will be paid 9.25 million dollars this season.