Tight end Rob Gronkowski has come out of retirement and since he is still under contract for the New England Patriots, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers had to trade for him to acquire his services. Today, the Buccaneers sent a fourth-round pick to the Patriots in exchange for Gronkowski and a seventh-round pick.
This is a sudden development as Gronkowski, last season, constantly denied all possibilities of coming out of retirement to rejoin the Patriots. One reason Gronkowski stated for not wanting to return is that it was no longer fun playing under Bill Belichick. However, his close friend and long time quarterback, Tom Brady, left the Patriots this offseason, after 20 years, to join the Buccaneers. Gronkowski, after a year outside of football, decided now was the perfect time to come back as he rejoins Brady in Tampa Bay.
This is a great move for both teams.
First, the Patriots were able to get a fourth-round pick for a player that hadn’t played for them since the 2018 season and was never going to play for them again. This allows them to have more draft capital to build a younger core, or they could use the pick to help trade up and draft a top quarterback.
As for the Buccaneers, their offense just got a lot more loaded. One reason the Patriots have been so successful is the use of multiple tight ends in their offense. The Buccaneers just picked up a tight end that is one of the best of all-time when he is healthy. His speed and height have been a mismatch for defenses over the past decade. Combine this with tight ends OJ Howard and Cameron Brate, and you have a Buccaneer offense with two elite wide receivers and three legitimate options for Brady to throw to at the tight end position alone.
The NFC South just got even more loaded offensively. If this season plays out as scheduled, the NFC South will become a division to watch.