What Are The Chances Gronk Returns?

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Pewter Report’s Scott Reynolds solutions your questions from the @PewterReport Twitter account every week within the Bucs Monday Mailbag. Submit your query to the Bucs Monday Mailbag every week through Twitter utilizing the hashtag #PRMailbag. Listed here are the questions we selected to reply for this week’s version.

QUESTION: The longer the Bucs go with out signing a decent finish, the extra seemingly it appears Rob Gronkowski comes again earlier than the season begins. At what level do you assume the crew indicators somebody or Gronk comes again?

ANSWER: I agree together with your premise. If the Bucs don’t signal a veteran tight finish earlier than the beginning of coaching camp, that very effectively could possibly be an indication that Rob Gronkowski could possibly be returning sooner or later in the course of the 2022 season. I believe there are three potential time frames for Gronkowski’s return.

Bucs TE Rob Gronkowski

Bucs TE Rob Gronkowski – Photograph by: USA At the moment

The primary is correct earlier than the beginning of camp. The premise could be that he was “pulling a Tom Brady” and retiring after which un-retiring 41 days later in a sensible joke vogue. The second, and extra logical situation, is that Gronkowski skips the trials of Bucs coaching camp and indicators proper earlier than the beginning of the season. NFL groups have every week off in between the final preseason sport and the beginning of the season. Gronkowski may use that point to get again into soccer form and follow.

The third timetable could possibly be signing at midseason. Gronkowski watched the Bucs signal Antonio Brown in November of 2020 and he helped Tampa Bay win Tremendous Bowl LV. The 33-year outdated tight finish could be listening to his physique and realizing that it might not have the ability to maintain up for 17 video games any extra.

It wouldn’t be shocking if the Bucs didn’t signal one other veteran tight finish earlier than camp begins. Including one other tight finish would solely take away precious developmental reps for rookies Cade Otton and Ko Kieft. If the rookies don’t progress and Gronk stays retired, then Tampa Bay can add a veteran. Bucs common supervisor Jason Licht has added key roster items the week earlier than the season begins earlier than. He acquired edge rushers Jacquies Smith (2014) and Carl Nassib (2018) off waivers and signed working again Leonard Fournette in 2020.

QUESTION: With Rob Gronkowski retired do you assume Todd Bowles might take a look at D-line in free company or cornerback and concentrate on the defensive aspect of the ball?

ANSWER: I believe these two points are impartial of one another. How the Bucs handle the tight finish place has nothing to do with their plans on the defensive aspect of the ball. Whether or not it’s signing a veteran like Jimmy Graham, Kyle Rudolph, Jared Prepare dinner or Blake Jarwin, or ready for Rob Gronkowski’s potential return, Tampa Bay will seemingly add one other tight finish.

That has no influence on what the crew does defensively. Similar to how the Bucs might need to get an prolonged look in camp on the crew’s younger tight ends, Tampa Bay might do the identical factor at exterior linebacker. Todd Bowles may find yourself wanting one other veteran edge rusher, however including one in camp would solely take away from the developmental reps of Cam Gill, Elijah Ponder and seventh-round choose Andre Anthony. Signing a veteran after camp, or within the latter phases of camp, makes extra sense.

The addition of veterans Akiem Hicks and Deadrin Senat and the drafting of Logan Corridor seemingly means the line of defense place is ready. Tampa Bay already has Professional Bowler Vita Vea, Will Gholston and Rakeem Nunez-Roches on the crew, along with Pat O’Connor. The ultimate roster spot will seemingly come all the way down to Senat or O’Connor.

The cornerback place appears stacked this 12 months, too. Tampa Bay added Logan Ryan, who can play security and nickel cornerback, and likewise drafted Zyon McCollum on Day 3. So, cornerback and line of defense appear to be effectively stocked proper now. However control the skin linebacker place, and clearly the tight finish spot, too.

QUESTION: Which large receiver do you assume will step as much as fill Chris Godwin’s spot if misses time in the beginning of the season?

ANSWER: Russell Gage is the receiver that must step up if the Bucs didn’t have Chris Godwin in the beginning of the season. One of many explanation why the Bucs signed Gage to a three-year deal price $10 million per season is that he may also play within the slot in addition to exterior. If Godwin is able to go, he’ll play within the slot and Gage would be the flanker (Z receiver). That’s the place Antonio Brown performed final 12 months.

Bucs WR Russell Gage

Bucs WR Russell Gage – Photograph by: Cliff Welch/PR

But when Godwin’s restoration is slower than the crew hopes it will likely be, Gage could be known as upon to play extra within the slot. Then, the main focus shifts to whoever wins the No. 4 receiver spot on the depth chart, as that participant would transfer as much as the No. 3 place. Breshad Perriman and Cyril Grayson Jr. would seemingly be the early front-runners as each are quick and have expertise.

Perriman gained final 12 months’s time beyond regulation sport in opposition to Buffalo with a catch-and-run, walk-off landing. Grayson gained the Jets sport along with his heroic, last-second landing after Brown stormed off the sector.

Tyler Johnson is extra of an even bigger slot receiver, however he has some expertise taking part in flanker. He had hassle separating in protection final 12 months, so he’ll must play quicker in camp and the preseason if he’s going to make the roster. Veteran Scotty Miller is in a contract 12 months, however he’s largely a break up finish (X receiver). That’s the place Mike Evans performs, and the long run Corridor of Famer not often comes off the sector.

QUESTION: What are the most important questions heading in to coaching camp?

ANSWER: I’ll be addressing the most important questions because the Bucs begin coaching camp in a number of version of my SR’s Fab 5 column. However for a sneak preview, I believe essentially the most intriguing camp battles shall be at left guard and at large receiver.

The left guard spot, vacated by Ali Marpet’s retirement, shall be a battle royale in coaching camp. Veteran Aaron Stinnie is the present favourite, however the Bucs drafted Luke Goedeke within the second spherical. Backup heart Robert Hainsey, final 12 months’s third-round choose, can be within the combine. Nick Leverett might also get a glance there. The inside of Tampa Bay’s offensive line is loaded with younger expertise.

At large receiver, Mike Evans, Chris Godwin and Russell Gage are the plain locks to make the crew. That leaves 10 different receivers battling for 3 – possibly 4 – spots on the depth chart. Veterans like Breshad Perriman, Scotty Miller, Tyler Johnson and Cyril Grayson Jr. shall be competing in opposition to a number of newcomers, together with Deven Thompkins and Jerreth Sterns, amongst others. The large receiver place shall be actually enjoyable to look at in camp and in the course of the preseason.

QUESTION: Do you are feeling {that a} journey to Germany may show a distraction? (And can you be attending?)

Bucs QB Tom Brady

Bucs QB Tom Brady – Photograph by: USA At the moment

ANSWER: It’s potential that the worldwide journey to Germany in November could possibly be a distraction for the Bucs, particularly with the bye the week after. However this can be a veteran-laden Tampa Bay crew and I don’t assume the gamers will get distracted. The sport takes place in early November, so the Bucs ought to be eyeing playoff positioning by then and may’t afford to lose to a lesser NFC crew.

It’s attention-grabbing to notice that the Bucs haven’t gained a world sport. They’re 0-3 in London. Maybe taking part in in Germany will change the Bucs’ fortunes. After all, having Tom Brady at quarterback will assist, too. Brady has by no means misplaced a world sport. He’s 3-0 in video games in London (twice) and Mexico again when performed in New England, so one thing has to offer.

I hope to make the journey to Munich, as I loved the London journey again in 2019. I like worldwide beer, and clearly Germany is known for beer. So, that’s another excuse I could be attending – apart from to report on the Buccaneers, in fact!