Proper after the Bucs landed legendary quarterback Tom Brady in free company in 2020, Brady’s first name was to long-time teammate Rob Gronkowski. Brady satisfied the long run Corridor of Fame tight finish to return out of retirement and be part of him in Tampa Bay. Basic supervisor Jason Licht executed a commerce for Gronkowski, and he and Brady helped the Bucs win Tremendous Bowl LV almost a yr later.
So with Brady’s retirement, does Licht suspect that Gronkowski’s enjoying days in Tampa Bay are over, too? Gronkowski, who turns 33 in Could, is a free agent in 2022 after signing a one-year, $8 million contract.
“No, I don’t suspect that,” Licht mentioned. “I believe that’s but to be seen. I’ve given Rob the respect to present him a while to see how he feels right here within the coming weeks after a protracted, grueling season. Particularly if you play within the league for 11 years. You want slightly time to suppose issues by means of – to see if you wish to undergo it one other yr. From my dialog with Rob, he simply wants that.”
Gronkowski performed 9 years with Brady in New England, profitable three Tremendous Bowls collectively earlier than profitable one other one in Tampa Bay. In two seasons with the Bucs, Gronkowski caught 100 passes for 1,425 yards (14.3 avg.) and 13 touchdowns.
“I don’t suppose it’s going to be depending on whether or not Tom got here again or not from what I perceive,” Licht mentioned. “I do know that Rob had an unimaginable expertise right here as effectively. He was a giant consider us having the success that we did. We might welcome Rob again with open arms. However we’re giving him the house proper now to determine what he needs to do.”
In 2020, Gronkowski hauled in 45 catches for 623 yards (13.8 avg.) and 7 touchdowns. He added two extra TDs in Tremendous Bowl LV. This previous season, Gronkowski had 55 catches for 802 yards (14.6 avg.) and 6 TDs regardless of lacking 5 video games because of fractured ribs and a punctured lung. He additionally set the NFL document for essentially the most 100-yard video games by a good finish (32) with three 100-yard video games.
Licht added that he didn’t suppose that Brady’s retirement would trigger an exodus of gamers leaving in free company. The Bucs be ok with their core nucleus of gifted gamers with a franchise-record 9 Professional Bowlers in 2021.
“I do know that our gamers love enjoying right here,” Licht mentioned. “They love enjoying for this teaching workers, they love this fan base, and so they love this city. I might say that the core of our gamers is what attracted Tom Brady to return to Tampa. Tom selected us. I believe that may assist with different gamers make their determination to return to Tampa as effectively as a result of we’ve got quite a lot of superb gamers and an unbelievable teaching workers.”