Rob Gronkowski wants to play with Tom Brady with the Buccaneers, so what will Tampa Bay need to trade to New England to get the retired Patriots tight end?
NFL Insider Ian Rapoport reported Tuesday afternoon that retired tight end Rob Gronkowski has informed the New England Patriots that he would like to play football again…in Tampa Bay with Tom Brady:
This official news comes after months of speculation that Brady would try to lure his former security blanket tight end out of retirement. Gronk retired after the 2018 season and spent the 2019 season doing a variety of other engagements like TV shows and professional wrestling.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter further extrapolates on the point indicating that this is not news to either the Patriots nor to Tampa Bay. He indicated that the teams have discussed a trade for some time now:
In addition, NFL Network reporter Tom Pelissero reported the future Hall of Famer has planned this for some time, indicating Gronkowski has added on weight for his eventual return to the league.
This seems to indicate that a trade and returning to action is definitely happening for the four-time first-team All-Pro selection.
As far as parameters of a potential trade are concerned, what exactly might we expect the Bucs to have to give up for the five-time Pro Bowl tight end? We can look to a recent transaction involving a retired player requesting a trade to a new team to come out of retirement when Marshawn Lynch did so in order to be traded to Seattle. In that pick, the compensation was relatively innocuous, as Seattle sent their fifth round pick to the Raiders in exchange for Lynch and the Raiders’ sixth round pick.
The reality is that Gronk and Brady have all of the leverage here. Gronk won’t play for New England so they have no reason to play hardball. Inversely, the Bucs will do whatever it takes to make Brady happy, and there is no reason to believe he does not have sweeping control over offensive (at least) personnel.
We’ll see when this trade eventually gets done, but it seems inevitable.