Bills admit conversations with Rob Gronkowski’s agent but deny formal offer

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The Buccaneers kept Rob Gronkowski on a one-year, $10 million deal. This came as a surprise to no one, not even the Bills, who admit interest in acquiring the tight end.

“We spoke to his representatives about him, definitely,” Bills General Manager Brandon Beane said. “Again, just like we do with J.J. Watt or these other guys. We never made an official offer or anything like that. We did check in on him to see if there would be an interest, and I think there was some interest. But at the end of the day, probably would have been an upset for him to leave Tom Brady.”

A report earlier this week indicated the Bills extended a “similar offer” to the Bucs. Formal, informal. Tomato, tomato. Potato, potato.

The Bills at least inquired about Gronkowski as they did Watt. Beane went into the offseason seeking to upgrade the position after Tyler Kroft, Lee Smith and Dawson Knox combined for 442 yards and eight touchdowns last season.

The team since has traded Smith, their blocking tight end.

Gronkowski would have filled the bill at the position.

“Yeah, I think he expressed some interest that this might be an opportunity he would consider,” Beane said Thursday. “We exchanged some back and forth with the agent just understanding what his market would be and what they would be looking for and what his role here would be and how we saw it. That’s what you do with a lot of players, but again. Again, like J.J. Watt, Gronk is a big name, and so some of those get leaked out. There are many more that happen the same that don’t get leaked out.”

Eagles tight end Zach Ertz is on the trading block, and Florida tight end Kyle Pitts is a top prospect. The Bills, with the 30th overall choice, likely wouldn’t be able to move up high enough for a chance to draft Pitts.

While the Bills’ search for a tight end continues, they have enticed receiver Emmanuel Sanders, backup quarterback Mitchell Trubisky and punter Matt Haack to join them in their pursuit of taking the next step.