On Tuesday, April 21st, 2020 the sports content starved sports media outlets finally had one of the biggest stories of the National Football League’s offseason to report on. Rob Gronkowski is well known as one of the greatest NFL tight ends of all time, but he prematurely retired approximately 13 months ago due to feeling mentally and more importantly physically depleted. He had always hinted at returning to play football in the NFL when he felt his body was back to feeling great once again.
According to Gronkowski he currently feels outstanding physically, and has decided to make an exciting return to the game he loves to play. The New England Patriots traded Gronk along with a seventh round draft pick to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in exchange for a fourth round draft selection in the upcoming 2020 NFL draft.
The New England Patriots will now have the 139th overall pick while the Tampa Bay Buccaneers received the 241st overall draft choice later on this week. The 2020 NFL draft is scheduled to occur Thursday, April 23rd, 2020 through Saturday, April 25th, 2020. Due to current situation regarding the Covid – 19 coronavirus pandemic the draft will be executed via the internet in order to cooperate with the existing social distancing and stay at home orders that are set in place throughout the United State of America.
Gronkowski’s Current Remaining Contract
Presently Gronkowski has one year and $9 million left on his contract. He is going to become an unrestricted free agent following this upcoming 2020 – 2021 NFL season unless the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Gronkowski agree upon terms for a new contract extension. It would be wise for the Bucs to extend his contract even if it is only for one more year which would coincide with Tom Brady’s contract length with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Brady and Gronkowski’s Relationship
The long lasting relationship between Brady and Gronkowski is as strong as oak. According to sources close to this blockbuster trade the dominating tight end was only willing to come out of retirement to play for one team. That one team was obviously the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and you guessed it that is only because Brady is now their starting quarterback. Brady and Gronk have had an extremely successful run playing together with the New England Patriots from 2010 through the 2018 – 2019 NFL season. These two future hall of famers played 9 seasons together in the National Football League, and they won three Super Bowls (XLIX, LI, LIII) with one another.
Brady has connected with one of his favorite if not his favorite targets, Gronkowski, for 78 touchdown receptions. The Brady to Gronk 78 touchdowns is the most out of any quarterback to receiver combination in NFL from 2010 to 2018. This is the most touchdowns Tom has thrown to any player throughout his illustrious career in the National Football League as well. Randy Moss is second on that list with 39 touchdown completions from Brady, followed by Julian Edelman with 36 TD’s, and then Wes Welker with 34 touchdown passes.
Gronkowski’s Football Background
The amazing tight end with such a colorful personality began his football journey as a standout at Woodland Hills High School in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Gronkowski decided to attend the University of Arizona where he was nothing but explosive on the field playing for Mike Stoop’s Arizona Wildcats from 2007 through the 2008 – 2009 NCAA college football season. Unfortunately, Gronk had to miss his junior year of college football due to having back surgery which resulted in his draft stock falling.
Gronkowski was selected in the second round of the 2010 NFL draft by the New England Patriots with the 42nd overall pick. He was a force to be reckoned with on the gridiron. His size, speed, and physical nature made him extremely difficult to cover by his opponent’s defense. Throughout his solid 9 year NFL career with the New England Patriots he managed to rack up 7,861 receiving yards on 521 receptions as well as 79 touchdowns.
Although he had so much on the field success, he really put his body on the line often. This caused him to suffer a variety of injuries most of which he played through as he has a reputation of being a very tough football player. The string of concussions and other football injuries was what caused him to temporarily retire from playing pro ball following the 2018 – 2019 NFL season in which the Patriots won Super Bowl LIII against the Los Angeles Rams.
Gronkowski’s NFL Achievements, Awards, and Honors
The hard working and fun loving tight end was a 3 time Super Bowl champion (XLIX, LI, LIII). He was named to the NFL’s First Team All Pro 4 times (2011, 2014, 2015, 2017). Gronkowski was selected to the NFL Pro Bowl 5 times (2011, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2017). He was chosen for the NFL’s 100th Anniversary All Time Team as well as the NFL 2010’s All Decade Team. He led the NFL in receiving touchdowns in 2011, and he won the NFL’s Comeback Player of the Year award in 2014.
Gronkowski’s NFL Career Statistics
Receiving and Rushing
Advanced Receiving and Rushing
Playoffs Receiving and Rushing
|Year||Age||Tm||Pos||No.||G||GS||RshTD||RecTD||PR TD||KR TD||FblTD||IntTD||OthTD||AllTD||2PM||2PA||XPM||XPA||FGM||FGA||Sfty||Pts||Pts/G|
“He tells me he feels fantastic, the best he’s ever felt,” says Rob Gronkowski’s agent Drew Rosenhaus. “His weight’s back up to 260. He passed his physical with flying colors today. He’s just really excited about playing football again, and being in Florida is exciting for him.”
Gronkowski texted this message to Fox Sports: “I’m back. I always said when I have that feeling and it feels right, I will be ready to take the field again. And I have that feeling. I’m ready.”
“Rob Gronkowski is one of the best tight ends in NFL history and he plays the game with the type of passion and desire that sets him apart,” the Tampa Bay Buccaneers general manager Jason Licht stated. “Rob has played his entire career alongside Tom Brady, and their accomplishments speak for themselves. Together they have developed the type of chemistry on and off the field that is crucial to success.”
“Shortly after Tom Brady went to Tampa, Rob and I had a conversation that this is a situation that would be appealing to him,” Rosenhaus proclaimed. “Obviously, this was a deal that New England had to feel good about, Tampa had to feel good about. This wasn’t just about Rob. All the parties involved had to be in agreement.”
“He loves New England,” says Rosenhaus. “He loves the Patriots organization, coach [Bill] Belichick, the Krafts, his teammates that are still there. He had an amazing run in New England.
“It was just time for him to continue his career with Tom Brady in Florida, with Tampa. It was something cool and exciting and challenging to him. He’s well-rested and looking forward to playing with Tom again.”
“Well, he’s doing a pretty good job with WrestleMania right now,” Licht explained regarding Gronk’s work with WrestleMania 36. “I have no idea if he would want to play. I’ll keep this on the draft right now because that’s like asking about another player on another roster.”