Rob Gronkowski to Reunite With Tom Brady in Tampa Bay

Written by on April 21, 2020

Rob Gronkowski, the All-Professional tight finish who left the N.F.L. after the 2018 season, plans to return to the league, this time with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Gronkowski, who didn’t formally retire when he stepped away from the game last March, was traded by his previous staff, the New England Patriots, to Tampa Bay, the place he shall be reunited with quarterback Tom Brady, pending a bodily examination.

The Patriots will ship Gronkowski and a seventh-round choose on this week’s N.F.L. draft to the Buccaneers, and obtain a fourth-round choose from Tampa Bay in return.

Gronkowski, the sport’s most dominant tight finish throughout his 9 years in New England, helped the Patriots win three Tremendous Bowl titles. His goofy, frat boy persona off the sector made him one of many extra colourful gamers within the league.

However on the sector, he was no joke. In 9 seasons, Gronkowski, who will flip 31 subsequent month, caught 521 passes for 7,861 yards and a Patriots-record 79 receiving touchdowns. He was named to the Professional Bowl 5 instances and was first-team All-Professional 4 instances, taking full benefit of his measurement and pace to seek out mismatches. He was typically thought of Brady’s favourite goal, and a giant one at 6-foot-6.

Nevertheless, a collection of accidents led to questions on how for much longer he may play. He hinted for a number of seasons that he was contemplating leaving the N.F.L. due to the wear and tear on his physique, which led to missed video games due to quite a few accidents, together with a torn knee ligament, a damaged forearm, a herniated disk in his again, amongst others.

He left the league on a excessive be aware, serving to the Patriots — the one staff he had performed for — beat the Los Angeles Rams within the Tremendous Bowl following the 2018 season.

Throughout his time away from soccer final 12 months, Gronkowski, identified merely as Gronk, appeared at wrestling occasions, promoted cannabidiol merchandise as ache relievers and centered on his charity.

Even so, he remained in demand. The proprietor of the Patriots, Robert Okay. Kraft, made no secret of his want to persuade Gronkowski to return to the team in time for the playoffs final season. Gronkowski had not turned in his retirement papers, so the Patriots nonetheless held his rights. The Patriots offense was not almost as potent with out Gronkowski, and their season ended shortly after one playoff sport.

Gronkowski is within the last year of his contract, which features a $9 million base wage and $1 million in bonuses. Throughout his appearances as a Fox Sports activities commentator earlier than this 12 months’s Tremendous Bowl. “I really feel nice,” he mentioned. “Type of higher day-after-day. It’s been actually good for me.”

Gronkowski was named the WWE 24/7 champion at WrestleMania 36 earlier this month and strikes to Florida, the place the wrestling promotion is taken into account an essential service.

Although Gronkowski handed on the possibility to return to the Patriots, he apparently felt effectively sufficient to come back again to the N.F.L. if he may play once more with Brady. The teammates will be a part of a Buccaneers staff already stocked with offensive expertise and guided by head coach Bruce Arians, an offensive mastermind who favors Kangol hats, expletives and wisecracks, in stark distinction to Belichick’s morose methods. In his first season in Tampa final 12 months, the Buccaneers had the third-best offense within the league, with an erratic Jameis Winston at quarterback.

Winston is gone, however much of the talent around him is still there. Pissed off by the relative lack of offensive expertise round him in New England final season, Brady will now throw to Gronkowski, in addition to Mike Evans and the speedy Chris Godwin, two 1,000-yard receivers final season who’re each over six toes tall.

With Brady and Gronkowski reunited in Tampa, the N.F.C. South, which incorporates the New Orleans Saints, may turn out to be some of the aggressive divisions within the league. And the as soon as sleepy Buccaneers, who haven’t made the playoffs since 2007, are destined to turn out to be fixtures in prime time.

And never for nothing, Tremendous Bowl LV shall be held in Raymond James Stadium, in Tampa, Fla., Brady and Gronkowski’s new residence subject.

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