NFL

Will Gronk return? Former TE contacted The Bucs

What does a former Bucs tight end do when he’s bored? For many of us, we watch television, go for a run, spend time with the family, or clean the house. But it looks like a future Hall of Famer Rob Gronkowski may be tireless about the trick to curing boredom.

Bucs TE Rob Gronkowski – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

According to Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times, Gronkowski, who retired from football after the 2021 season reached out to the Bucs around Thanksgiving about returning to football and the team to help the team through their season-long struggles. Stroud describes in his column that head coach Todd Bowles downplayed the communication as primarily a touch base, rather than a full negotiation.

β€œIt was more of a conversation than anything else. When you have to think about playing, you usually don’t want to play. If it’s just a discussion, I didn’t think much about it at the time.” Bowles said about the situation.

Apparently, the two sides have gotten far enough to work out possible scenarios for how Gronkowski might return to the team, including initially signing him to the practice squad to allow him to get into football form. Stroud did report that the team was willing to sign the former All-Pro straight to the active roster if it was deemed the best course of action.

Gronkowski, like the future Hall of Fame quarterback with whom he has been inseparable throughout his career, has flirted with retirement and return before. The former New England Patriot retired from football for a year after the 2018 season.

After sitting out all of 2019, he returned to the game in 2020, effectively forcing his trade to the Bucs. This allowed Gronkowski to win his fourth Super Bowl in 2020. During his two seasons with the Bucs, Gronkowski played in 34 games including the post season. During that span, he caught 117 passes for 1,651 yards and 16 touchdowns while helping the Bucs average over 30 points per game.

Former Bucs TE Gronk has said he is bored

More recently, Gronkowski added public fuel to the fire that he might return when he tweeted a deeply ominous message to his 3.2 million Twitter followers.

However, it turns out that the tweet was related to a collaboration with FanDuel.

Since Gronkowski’s retirement, the Bucs have struggled with a 6-8 record, thanks in large part to a stagnant offense that struggled to average just under 18 points per game. Current Bucs tight ends Cade Otton, Cameron Brate, Ko Kieft and Kyle Rudolph have combined to catch 66 passes for 631 yards and just three touchdowns.

While it doesn’t look like a reunion between the Bucs and their former star-tight end is in the works, it doesn’t seem like there’s any mutual interest between the two sides.


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