With just days to go until the NFL draft, the Bucs just spent their 4th round pick on Rob Gronkowski. Three-time Super Bowl winner Gronkowski retired after the 2018 season, had spent his entire career with the Patriots, and one newly-acquired Bucs quarterback Tom Brady.
The two are known to have a close relationship off the field, and the with Brady allegedly contacting Gronk to discuss the possibility of coming out of retirement to join him in Tampa Bay, the deal seems to have come together pretty quickly.
Rob Gronkowski top-5 all-time
Gronkowski will join a tight-end room featuring OJ Howard and Cameron Brate. While Howard and Brate may have the edge in terms of knowing the playbook, Gronk will add a top-end that neither currently possesses.
Having suffered with knee and back complaints during his last few seasons with the Patriots, it is likely the Bucs will use a significant dose of load management with their newly acquired piece. Rob Gronkowski will likely not be 100%-deployed until we reach the business end of the season and the playoffs.
That’s not to say Gronk won’t see the field regularly, but don’t expect those 10-catch games he used to rack up in New England too regularly early on in the campaign as the Bucs look to keep him fresh and healthy for the back-end of the season.
Rob Gronkowski has a chance to add to his legacy as he moves south to Tampa Bay. Already in amongst the all time greats like Tony Gonzalez, Antonio Gates, and Shannon Sharpe, Gronk will likely be looking to cement his name as the greatest ever…and add a fourth Super Bowl ring in the process.
Gronk will play under the terms of the final year of 6-year, $54-million contract signed with the Patriots in 2012. Tampa will also receive a seventh-round selection from the Patriots in the deal.
With 521 catches, 7,861 career yards, and 79 touchdowns, Rob Gronkowski is arguably the most explosive, uncoverable tight-end of the modern game. If his knee and back have fully recovered from the pounding they took during his career he will add another top level target around Tom Brady.
With Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, and now Rob Gronkowski to throw too, Brady has probably the best trio in the league. All of this, of course, assumes that Gronk is coming in fit and healthy enough to be the same kind of impact player he was during his years in New England.
Having only missed one season on the field, expect Gronk to be comparable to the player we saw the last few years in Foxboro. Not to be forgotten in all of this is the positive impact his work ethic and experience will have in continuing the development of OJ Howard.
Acquiring Rob Gronkowski for a fourth-round pick is an absolute steal. However, as he is clearly towards the end of his career, this further cements the perception that the Bucs are in win-now mode.