Is it just a little disconcerting that Gronkowski said “I’m coming back to play football…” and not “I’m coming back to play for the Bucs.”
We all know he wants to play for the Bucs, but he doesn’t have a contract does he? So he was careful about his wording. He can’t come out and say he’s going to play for a team when he doesn’t have a contract. No doubt there has already been discussions about a contract. But IMO this is his way to subtly give notice that he’s not going to play for peanuts.
So the upshot is that although we all know Gronk would prefer to play for the Bucs, he subtly opened the door to the possibility of playing for another team.
To be fair, why would Gronk want to lose any leverage at making money? The only leverage he has is Free Agency. That’s his only leverage so he won’t be low-balled. Sure, Brady’s got a huge sway on things, but Gronk also deserves that money. Gronk is a blocking and passing threat as well as be healthy for all 16 games plus the 4 playoffs games. Not even OJ Howard has played 20 consecutive games in his young career!
I still think Gronk stays because the front office should see the obvious chemistry Gronk has with Brady as well as the influence to alter the vertical passing offense to be a multi-dimensional passing offense with Gronk here.
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