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Former NFL GM Says Rob Gronkowski Will Be Back With Buccaneers in 2022

Good news for the Bucs, if the bold statement becomes reality.

James Yarcho and I have been asked a lot on the Locked On Bucs Podcast about what the Tampa Bay Buccaneers should do at tight end since Rob Gronkowski announced his retirement. 

Our answer is usually similar in that we believe the tight end group consisting of Cameron Brate, Cody McElroy, and rookies Cade Otton and Ko Kieft can be a solid group. 

Not the best in the league, but not the worst. 

READ MORE: Ranking Buccaneers' Secondary

We also agree there are some veteran options Tampa Bay should consider adding as well. Free agents like Jared Cook come up, and Dalton Schultz who is currently tied up in a contract stalemate with the Dallas Cowboys could be an attractive trade possibility. 

But if you ask former New York Jets general manager Mike Tannenbaum what he thinks, he'll tell you the name to add to the Buccaneers' tight end group is...Rob Gronkowski.

From the man who brought you center Nick Mangold and cornerback Darrelle Revis as first-round NFL Draft picks, but also gave you quarterback Mark Sanchez of 'butt fumble' fame and defensive end Vernon Gholston (sorry, Will) of zero sacks in three NFL seasons infamy - again, both first-round picks - comes this nugget: 

"100 percent (Gronkowski) comes back," Tannenbaum said recently on an episode of ESPN's Get Up. "When (Tom Brady) says go (Gronkowski) says, 'Yes, how fast, and how high?' They don't need Gronk for 17 games, they need Gronk in consequential moments...a lot of veterans don't like training camp. Gronk doesn't need it...and he can be the difference of (the Bucs) beating the Rams down the stretch. So when Tom says, 'Hey, Gronk. It's time to go.' I have no doubt in my mind that he'll be a Buccaneer."

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Now that's a take, but not one we haven't necessarily heard before. 

READ MORE: What Odds Makers Say About Gronk Returning

The question is: If this is true, why wouldn't Brady want Gronk there to help handle the murderer's row Tampa Bay faces in the regular season?

Listening to Tannenbaum answer the question this seems to be more confident conjecture than inside information. 

But hey, nobody that covers or roots for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers would be upset to see the duo back in action whether it's before or after Thanksgiving, because like Gronk's mother used to (not actually) say, "It must be maple syrup because butter don't drizzle like that."

Classic.

For more on this and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers check out James Yarcho and David Harrison on the Locked On Bucs Podcast!