Since the Tampa Bay Buccaneers signed Tom Brady in March, there have been a lot of rumors regarding the return of his former New England teammate Rob Gronkowski.
Could It Happen?
The possibility of Gronkowski returning to the NFL is not off the table. According to First Things First co-host Nick Wright, he sees a reunion between the two could happen. “I think (a reunion) is likely,the Patriots hold Gronk’s rights but they got no cap space.”
Wright makes an interesting point. The Patriots don’t have the space to bring a high caliber player like Gronkowski back. So, they would most likely have to trade him. But would that trade mean he automatically goes to the Bucs? No!
The Patriots would trade an asset like Gronkowski for more than what the Bucs would give them, which probably wouldn’t be a lot. If it means the Bucs trade away draft picks, then Gronkowski is not worth it.
Should It Happen?
As much as Bucs faithful would love to see Gronkowski reunited with Brady, I just don’t see it happening. They already have four tight ends led by O.J. Howard and recently re-signed Cameron Brate.
Bringing on Gronkowski might hurt team chemistry, considering he was Brady’s guy in New England. Brate and Howard are still young players with a lot to prove. Having Gronkowski on the team could hurt their chances.
Gronkowski is also extremely injury prone. Trading for him could wind up being a high risk, low reward for the Bucs. Although he’s only 30 years old, Gronkowski has a lot of miles on his body. He’s suffered concussions, several knee injuries and even had back surgery in December of 2016.
Will It Happen?
That’s the big question. So far this offseason has been full of surprising free agent moves. But as far as team chemistry, the Bucs should stay away from Gronkowski if he does decide to come back. As of right now, the Bucs have a solid tight end unit, and they shouldn’t toy with it if it’s not necessary.
Gronkowski would be nice to have, however given his injury history, and the other tight ends the Bucs have. It’s not worth the risk.