Rob Gronkowski is the current WWE 24/7 champion. However, he’s apparently eyeing a return to the gridiron. Gronk retired from football after the 2018 season when the New England Patriots beat the Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl LIII. Though Gronkowski wasn’t at the top of his game personally, he went out on top. He’s widely considered to be one of the greatest tight ends in NFL history. Gronkowski is entering his age-31 season and has dealt with injuries for sure. But, he obviously jumped at the opportunity to rejoin his former teammate in Tampa Bay. The addition of Gronkowski gives Tom Brady a “Big Three” in Tampa Bay. Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, and Gronk will be a handful for defenses to deal with.
Trade, pending physical: Patriots are trading TE Rob Gronkowski and a seventh-round pick to the Buccaneers for a fourth-round pick, source tells ESPN.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) April 21, 2020
Rob Gronkowski to the Bucs Creates a Big Three for Brady
A Retirement That Was
After Gronkowski retired from football in March of 2019, many wondered if he would stay away from football forever. An entrepreneur of sorts, Gronk has many endorsement deals and even endorsed CBD as a treatment for athletes. His most recent venture has been with the WWE. Gronk recently became the WWE 24/7 champion. However, it’s obvious that football is still on his mind.
A Reunion for Gronk and Brady
Brady and a change of scenery are big factors in Gronkwoski’s return to football. Longtime teammates and friends, Brady will get one of his best weapons from his days with the Pats in “Tompa Bay”. The 2019 season was a hard one for Brady. With Gronk out of the picture, he didn’t have a reliable tight end his last year in Foxboro. Although the team signed Austin Seferian-Jenkins in the off season, he didn’t make the final roster. The Pats had Matt LaCosse, Ryan Izzo, and Ben Watson for Brady to throw to from a tight end standpoint. A big drop off from previous production Gronk provided. But Gronk obviously only wants to continue to play football if Brady is throwing the ball.
A New Big Three
Gronkowski’s return to football means the formation of a new “Big Three” in the NFL. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers already have star wideouts Evans and Godwin. This addition makes for a trio of weapons in South Florida that will be scary for opposing defenses. Gronk doesn’t even have to be at the top of his game. In fact, that won’t be the expectation. But if he’s healthy, he can make a difference both in his own right, and by drawing attention away from Evans and Godwin. Without Gronk in the picture, Brady was already going into a good offense. Now it’s even better.
Godwin’s 2019 season was his third in the NFL and a breakout year of sorts. The young star had his first year of over 1000 receiving yards. For the season, he caught 86 passes for 1333 yards and nine touchdowns. At times, he stole the thunder from Evans, who has been a top receiver in the league for some time. Godwin had a 71.1% catch rate, which is nine percent high than his 2018 season.
Though Godwin shined last year, Evans was no scrub. In 13 games, Evans collected 67 receptions for 1157 yards and eight scores. It was a down year in comparison to Evans’ 2018 campaign, but he made the Pro Bowl along with his teammate Godwin. Evans will turn 27 years old this August. He’s still in his prime and has a lot of good football ahead of him. What was a dynamic duo in Tampa Bay just got upgraded to a trio of talented players for Brady to connect with.
Expectations for Rob Gronkowski
What can Gronkowski offer to the Tampa Bay offense? It’s been over a year since he’s suited up and played meaningful football. Gronkowski also suffered through injuries his final few years in Foxboro. In his final three years, Gronk played in 35 of a possible 48 regular season games. In the 2018 season, Gronk played in 13 regular season games. He caught 47 passes for 682 yards and three touchdowns. Not exactly the top of his game, but still productive.
Will Gronk post numbers such as he did in his sophomore campaign (2011) that featured 90 catches for 1327 yards and 17 touchdowns? Highly unlikely. However, the Bucs don’t need Gronk to be at the top of his game for him to have a good impact on the team. Gronk has always been a strong athlete that opposing defenses have to plan for. His presence alone will work wonders for Tampa Bay’s offense. With Gronk, Evans, and Godwin on the field Brady will have someone open. Opposing teams won’t be able to double team three top tier athletes. The addition of Gronk is an upgrade to the team, and that should have fans excited.