In a bombshell announcement just two days before the 2020 NFL Draft, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport is reporting on Twitter that retired Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski has told the team he wants to return to football, but to play for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with former teammate Tom Brady.

Gronkowski, who will turn 31 on May 14, announced his retirement just over a year ago, mainly to focus on his health after a plethora of injuries had limited his effectiveness during the 2018 season. A 4-time All-Pro and 5-time Pro Bowl future Hall of Famer, Gronkowski’s rights still belong to New England, who would need to work out a trade to send the 3-time Super Bowl champion to Tampa Bay.

According to Rapoport, this isn’t a spur-of-the-moment decision from Gronkowski, who has been preparing for a return to the game for awhile now. And it’s no surprise Rapoport adds that his former quarterback would love to see him in pewter too.

Acquiring Gronkowski would be a somewhat complicated move that would likely include a contract restructure for the big tight end, as he has one year left on his current deal with a $10 million cap hit.

A trade could also be the end of O.J. Howard’s time in Tampa Bay. If the Bucs are serious about trading for Gronk, that would seem to suggest Howard’s cap hit, albeit minimal, and presence on the roster may not be required. He also could be a decently valuable asset in a trade, either to acquire Gronk or in another draft day move.

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About the Author: Jon Ledyard

Jon Ledyard is PewterReport.com's newest Bucs beat writer and has experience covering the Pittsburgh Steelers as a beat writer and analyzing the NFL Draft for several draft websites, including The Draft Network. Follow Ledyard on Twitter at @LedyardNFLDraft
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TBAtlas
1 year ago

I honestly still think this is smoke because it just seems so unlikely. We’re at the height of lying season as well.

BadgerW4
Reply to  TBAtlas
1 year ago

FWIU, it’s a done deal. Bucs trade our 4th, get back NE’s 7th and Gronk. I can’t find a link for it as yet, but that’s what people are saying.

TBAtlas
Reply to  BadgerW4
1 year ago

Wow my comment aged fast lol. Well alright, he’s on our team. LFG BUCS!

cgmaster27
1 year ago

Got him for just a 4th?! Schrewed move mr licht. And we didnt have to trade oj. My god this offense just needs a 3down back and a rt and its gonna be lights out

BadgerW4
Reply to  cgmaster27
1 year ago

Even got a 7th back, for whatever that’s worth.

Makski13
Reply to  cgmaster27
1 year ago

My first reaction was a thousand times NO! All I remember was Gronkowski looking extremely slow and basically just a distraction. A shell of his former self, and that was 2 years ago when he was actually playing. Plus he’s too expensive. I just hope the physical was accurate, probably not the Bucs doctors. I’m a little nervous, but I will have to trust the Bucs did their due diligence? I will cheer for him if he comes but it might be a waste of money, especially with Brate, Hudson and Auclair. I would rather use Howard to get better… Read more »

chefboho
1 year ago

Word is the Bucs got him for a fourth rounder and he already passed the physical. He’s also putting football weight back on. This is just nuts. Could the pieces be falling and better for the Bucs this year. We truly will see if this is a cursed franchise because other than injuries, this is a super bowl caliber team right now. What a time to be a fan.

Captain Sly
Reply to  chefboho
1 year ago

Makes you wonder who’s running the team right now TB or BA!!!
For a coach who doesn’t use TE to suddenly have 4 starting calibers speaks volumes.

TBAtlas
Reply to  Captain Sly
1 year ago

Makes me wonder if we can actually convince Luck to come back once Brady is done lol. We seem to be pulling all these guys out from retirement.

Buc76
1 year ago

Do it. That’s points in the red zone. Go all the way. 31 he has a lot left in the tank

Runole
1 year ago

WOW! Things just keep getting better. Prediction ratings through the roof for the NFL draft for a sports starved nation.

Charlie
1 year ago

WOW! What a shock! What a pleasant surprise! Some of the best offenses BA had in Pittsburgh he had a very reliable TE in Heath Miller. We all know what Gronk is, there’s no reason that this can’t be a championship team if it stays healthy. Fortifies their lines a bit.