Will there be a Tom Brady-Rob Gronkowski reunion in Tampa Bay?

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Tight end Rob Gronkowski is retired, but he continues to be under contract with the Patriots. Which becomes a practical impediment to a potential unretirement by Gronk in 2020, so that he can reunite with quarterback Tom Brady in Tampa Bay.

Yes, the literal NFL newshound owned by my Internet son, PFT Commenter, recently got the tennis ball rolling on the possibility of Gronk ending his one-year hiatus from football and playing for the Buccaneers. It can happen only if the Patriots release Gronkowski’s rights or trade him.

Given the extent to which the Pats are pressed against the cap, Gronkowski could force the issue by unretiring, dropping his $9 million salary back onto the books. To absorb his salary, the Patriots would have to quickly create cap space or release him.

The strength of Gronk’s leverage would (or at least should) make the Patriots less inclined to insist on a major return for the future Hall of Famer. On a recent edition of PFTOT, Simms and I speculated that the Patriots likely would accept tight end O.J. Howard or tight end Cameron Brate for Gronk, given that one of them would become unnecessary to the Bucs if Gronk joins Brady in Tampa Bay. But the Bucs could (or at least should) get more for either of them in return for Gronkowski, based on the ease with which he can force his way out of town — if he chooses to come back and play.

In the coming weeks, keep an eye on the Patriots’ cap space. Unless and until they have the room to absorb Gronk’s $9 million base salary, he could at any time compel them to make a quick decision to either create the cap space elsewhere or to unload him from the roster ASAP.

22 responses to “Will there be a Tom Brady-Rob Gronkowski reunion in Tampa Bay?

  1. I have serious doubt Gronk will unretire but it would be easy for the Patriots to trade Gronk plus a mid round pick for Brate or Howard as the Patriots have plenty of ammo in the middle of the draft. Question is does Tampa want Gronk and how bad do they want him.

  2. Just because you wish it to happen, doesn’t mean it will. Gronk is retired. He doesn’t miss the beatings, and surgeries.

  3. The Pats would figure out a contract extension for someone or end up cutting come talented yet borderline players that MAY not have been able to hold their spot on 53 man roster due to competition…. there is NO WAY they would just release him….. my guess is they would either get Tampas #2 pick or one of the TE’s

  4. Scratching my head….Why on earth would the Bucs care when you already have two great TE’s? Unless TB12 is asking for him, which I doubt. Not buying this one just as much as the Edelman rumor. Quit trying to put the Pats roster back together.

  5. No, NE owns Gronk’s rights so Tampa wouldn’t be able to get him without trading a pick. Not worth it imo.

  6. Why is no one talking about Tom Brady wanting out if the AFC, because the AFC has 3 of the best young QBs.it always dick of Belicheck, prove himself blah blah. Way easier to get to the Superbowl without competing against Mahomes, Watsun, and Jackson. You can throw Tanenhill on there too as long as he has Henry to ride.

  7. You already have two nice targets in both TE’s. Besides wild speculation because everyone is bored, there is absolutely no reason for Tampa to give up anything for him

  8. The possibility could be attractive to Gronk. No BB, he gets to play with pal Brady and could be platooned with a good stablemate at TE at Tampa reducing the wear and tear. Arians might even be smart enough to not do things like use him to block on XPs in a blowout like some other coach did.

  9. Doesnt he have to stay free to defend his title? What if its in the middle of a game and a challenger is in the stands, and a referee does too?

  10. This is silly, if Tampa gives up either of their TEs for Gronk they are foolish and BB will have fleeced Tampa
    Why in the world would Gronk even want to come back?!?!?! Silly

  11. Never going to happen…No way the bucs give up one of their younger TEs- who are familiar with the team and play book- for a busted up TE, who knows nothing about the team or play book and has a 9mil cap hit…amongst other obvious reasons.

  12. I don’t think he’ll unretire, he is signed with WWE and seems to be having fun doing that.

  13. This is beyond speculation, it is fantasy. Have you seen Gronk? He has cut a ton of weight, and not capable of coming back at this point without a full year of training, and he’d never be the same. He is staying retired, and he has made this clear. Anyway back to reality.

  14. As cool as it would be I doubt this happens. However, after 9 years of BB and constantly getting double teamed (which in TB would not happen w Evans and Godwin) this may sound like a lot of fun for Gronk

  15. The Patriots would not be the ones adding to the deal, it would be the Bucs. If adding Gronk wasn’t an upgrade, why would the Bucs do it? Therefore, they need to add more. You don’t think the Patriots and a young QB could use Gronk? They don’t HAVE to trade him.

  16. He’s not in playing shape anymore. He’s lost lots of muscle that you just can’t put on in less than a year.

  17. I am going to put the Gronk-Brady reunion under the extremely unlikely/not going to happen category, the Bucs aren’t in much better shape salary cap-wise than the Pats and Gronk has had some injury issues especially late in his career, Gronk and Howard have very similar skill sets compared to each other, I believe the Bucs would rather go for the younger/cheaper option with Howard.

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