With a plethora of great offensive weapons at quarterback Tom Brady’s disposal, the question becomes who gets to the endzone? Tight end Rob Gronkowski has seen 10 or more touchdowns just five times in his career. Being Brady’s “go-to” guy for years in New England, will he inevitably be the same in Tampa? We asked two of our Bucs Report writers to buy or sell on whether Gronkowski could find the endzone 10 times in 2020.
Buy: Joshua Cole Allen
Rob Gronkowski will in fact have ten or more touchdowns this season and here’s why. The chemistry between Tom Brady and Gronkowski is undeniable and underrated. Since Gronkowski entered the league, he and Brady have connected for 76 touchdowns, ranking second amongst all players in the last decade. Now in Tampa Bay and learning a new playbook, Brady will rely heavily on that pre-existing familiarity even more until the chemistry with other receivers takes off.
A healthy Gronkowski, who spent the last year out of football, looks invigorated and ready to be a strong contributor to this Buccaneers’ offense. Perhaps one of the strongest facets of Gronkowski’s game is his ability to make plays in the red zone. During his career, he has 125 receptions on 204 targets and 56 touchdowns in the red zone. Head coach Bruce Arians has stated that he plans to use a lot of 12-personal looks, which would put Gronkowski on the field more often than not.
Gronkowski is not a traditional tight end in the sense that he also has the ability to line up in the slot and out wide creating mismatch problems for opposing defenses. Brady regularly used those to his advantage in New England. Coupled with Gronkowski’s run after the catch ability, it has led to some big and exciting plays in their history.
When targeting Gronkowski, Brady has a career 124.0 passer rating. Already knowing the nuances of each other’s game should help them significantly to get off to a fast start. I’d expect to see a heavy dose of Brady to Gronkowski at the beginning of the season as Brady continues to develop a rhythm in live-action with his new receivers.
Sell: “Tampa Bay” Ray Kennedy
Have you looked at this lineup? There are a lot of mouths to feed and Tom Brady will be working the spoon. Having a presence like Gronkowski will inspire fourth-year tight end, O.J. Howard, to come out of his shell and start to show the talent that made him a first-round pick for the Buccaneers in 2017.
There are also two pro bowl wide receivers needing some love in there also. Teams are going to focus on not allowing the Brady to Gronkowski connection to flow. Couple this with the fact that a year off could help Gronkowski heal his elbow and other ailments. Still, the team will want to have him in a pitch count and keep him healthy for the long run which is, hopefully, a Super Bowl run.
It is for these reasons I will sell the futures market in Gronkowski scoring 10 or more touchdowns. I would add though, I would be very hesitant to out my children’s college fund up for this investment.