Rob Gronkowski is coming out of a year-long retirement from the NFL and his rights are being traded to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The last time we saw Gronkowski take a football field was Super Bowl LIII when the Patriots were taking on the Los Angeles Rams, A game the Pats ended up winning giving the team their sixth title in franchise history, and Gronk’s third in his career.
Now the Tight End will be once again teaming up with fellow former Patriots Tom Brady in Tampa Bay.
When Gronkowski decided to retire last April, he had two-years remaining of a six-year deal that he had signed back in 2015, that would’ve kept Gronk a Patriot through the 2020 season. Well, with his retirement last season, Gronkowski gave up his money and left the Patriots with two million dollar cap hit in dead money.
Now entering the the final year of his contract and set to become an unrestricted free agent after 2020, Patriots owed Gronk $10 million this season if he decided to stay with New England. Now that Gronkowski is headed to the Buccaneers to rejoin Brady in a heavy and deep receiving core, this paves the way for Tampa Bay to truly contend even more.
What are the details of the trade? The Patriots are sending TE Rob Gronkowski and a seventh-round pick to the Buccaneers in exchange for a fourth-round pick.
According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter via Twitter, Gronkowski has already taken his physical in Boston with a neutral physician and is currently waiting official results.
Although it is believed that Gronkowski passed his physical “with flying colors.” Once the physical is passed, Gronkowski will officially be a member of the Buccaneers and will honor his current contract. Drew Rosenhaus confirmed to Schefter.
What does this move mean for the Patriots? Well it now give the team a lot more cap space entering the draft and the rest of free agency. The Patriots cap situation prior to the trade was at $1,229,895, Now that the Gronkowski’s money will officially be off the books, the Patriots will have over $11 million in cap space.
In Gronkowski’s mine season as a member of the Patriots (2010-2018) he played in 115 regular games catching 521 passes for 7,861 yards and 79 touchdowns. In 16 playoff games for the team, Gronk’s caught 81 passes for 1,163 yards and 12 touchdowns.
Through his first nine years in the NFL, Gronk dealt with numerous back injuries, including his knee and forearm. Health has truly been an issue for Gronkowski throughout his NFL career to this point.
Gronkowski joins a Tampa Bay offense loaded with weapons for Brady as he joins Mike Evan, Chris Godwin, fellow Tight Ends O.J. Howard and Cameron Brate.
Will the Buccaneers get the same production from Gronk as New England got and can he stay healthy for a full season? Only time will tell.
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