The Patriots have traded retired tight end Rob Gronkowski to the Buccaneers.
"Rob Gronkowski is one of the best tight ends in NFL history and he plays the game with the type of passion and desire that sets him apart," Buccaneers general manager Jason Licht said in a statement. "Rob has played his entire career alongside Tom Brady and their accomplishments speak for themselves. Together they have developed the type of chemistry on and off the field that is crucial to success. Rob combines elite-level skills as both a receiver and blocker but what really makes him special is the fact that he's a proven winner who brings that championship mindset and work ethic."
The Boston Herald previously reported that Gronkowski spoke to the Patriots about the chance to come out of retirement to reunite with quarterback Tom Brady in Tampa Bay. Schefter added that both sides had been talking ahead of Thursday's NFL draft. Earlier on Tuesday, Gronkowski said in an interview with Andy Cohen that he would consider ending his retirement.
After playing in the NFL for nine seasons, Gronkowski retired in March 2018 but never ruled out a possible return to the league. The Patriots will have to send his rights to the Buccaneers who will need to reinstate him. The tight end has one year and $10 million left on his contract.
Brady surprised the NFL world this offseason when he entered free agency and left the Patriots for the Bucs. Gronkowski and Brady won three Super Bowls together with New England.
The Buccaneers already have tight ends Cameron Brate and O.J. Howard, but certainly won't turn down the chance to bring on Gronkowski, who is considered one of the best TEs in NFL history. He found the end zone 79 times in 115 games and tallied 81 receptions and 12 touchdowns in 16 career playoff games.
Tampa Bay enters 2020 seeking its first playoff appearance since 2007. The team has not won a postseason game since the 2002 season.
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