Free-agent tight end Rob Gronkowski has said he’ll play for the Buccaneers or no one in 2022. Currently, he’s playing for no one.
With the offseason programs inching toward conclusion, chances are he won’t be signing before the start of training camp. The real question is whether he’ll be signing at all.
At the heart of the issue could be the question of what the Bucs can or will pay Gronkowski. With the receiver market going haywire and with 49ers tight end George Kittle recently telling #PFTPM that the disparity between top wideout pay and Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce‘s annual rate “boggles the mind,” it’s not unreasonable to ask whether Gronk is worth more than the $8 million or $10 million or whatever compensation package the Bucs will offer him.
He’s worth a lot more than that. The question is whether they offer him enough to make playing worth his while.
Gronk isn’t going to come out and say it. He won’t want to seem greedy or selfish. But it’s neither, if a guy wants to be paid what he’s worth for what he does.
Why shouldn’t Gronkowski want fair value? Even if he’s never spent a dime of his football money (he famously lives off his endorsements), he shouldn’t get less than full and fair value for his skills, abilities, risks, and sacrifices.
He should have a ceiling below which he won’t play. Maybe he does. And maybe the Bucs just haven’t gotten there yet.
Regardless, he should be done with playing for anything less than $15 million per year — especially after the receiver market has skyrocketed toward $30 million.