The band really is coming back. After the news early on Monday that pass rusher Shquil Barrett was returning on a multi-year deal, it was announced Monday evening that tight end Rob Gronkowski would be back in red and pewter, agreeing to a one-year deal with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers per Adam Schefter of ESPN;
A chance to run it back: Tight end Rob Gronkowski is returning to the Bucs on a one-year deal worth $10 million, @DrewJRosenhaus told ESPN.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 15, 2021
The deal, per Greg Auman of The Athletic, is worth $8-million in base salary with $2-million in incentives to reach that $10-million dollar mark.
Gronk was a key component of the Buccaneers’ championship run, despite the slow start to the season. He had a quiet postseason, having stayed in to block and protect Tom Brady early in their postseason run, but exploded for two touchdowns and emerged as the Bucs’ leading receiver in their Super Bowl LV victory over the Kansas City Chiefs.
Having one year in the system under his belt and being back in football shape, Gronkowski’s presence should be felt early and often for the Bucs in 2021.
Now, with Chris Godwin under the franchise tag as well as Lavonte David, Shaq Barrett, and Gronk all under contract the focus will shift to Ndamukong Suh as the last remaining defensive starter in 2020 that has not officially returned while players like Antonio Brown, Ryan Succop, and Leonard Fournette are all set to hit the free agent market officially on Wednesday.
The Bucs are continuing to use voidable years to spread out the cap hit, adding four to Gronk’s deal per Greg Auman;
Bucs are again using voidable years on the Gronkowski contract -- it's a one-year deal with four voidable years, so his cap hit is $4.8 million -- $4 million base salary, $4 million bonus pro-rated for cap over five seasons.— Greg Auman (@gregauman) March 15, 2021
This allowed the Bucs to remain under the salary cap with more moves coming. At some point, the Bucs will have to square up with the cap saving moves they’ve made, but for right now - in a “win now” mode and closing window - they’re going all in for another run at a Lombardi trophy.