It didn’t take long for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and future Hall of Fame tight end Rob Gronkowski to agree to a new one-year deal. In fact, this was the goal all along for the rare free-agent star.
However, his agreement with the Bucs didn’t become an official signing until Monday when he made it into the team’s headquarters to ink his deal. So now, Gronk will be back for 2021.
As much as it seemed like a no-brainer Gronkowski would be back this coming season, he did take some time to have a conversation or two with at least one other team. When asked by Greg Auman of The Athletic, Gronk did confirm he’d had talks with the Buffalo Bills early in the free-agency process. In the end, Tom Brady’s favorite weapon also made it clear it was always his intention to come back to the franchise he just won Super Bowl LV with.
“Overall, I wanted to be back with the Buccaneers organization”, said Gronkowski. “The setup here is just unbelievable.”
Returning for a second season with Tampa Bay, Gronkowski said he definitely sees room for growth on a team which finished third in the NFL in scoring (30.8 points per game). While the prospect of a Brady and Gronk-led offense being even better, the team is also returning nearly all of its starting defense with just Ndamukong Suh missing from the 2021 roster at the moment.
Via press release, Tampa Bay general manager Jason Licht said,
“In addition to his contributions on the field, Gronk has quickly become one of the most beloved guys in our locker room. His ability to perform at a championship-caliber level week after week, while also uplifting everyone around him, makes him an invaluable presence in our building. Rob’s accomplishments speak for themselves and make him one of the greatest to ever play the game at his position. We are thrilled to have him back with us as we pursue another title in Tampa.”
Asked near the end of his press conference whether or not he’s helped out with any recruiting efforts related to guys like Suh, Leonard Fournette, and Antonio Brown, the tight end said he likes to leave that to Brady.
The man knows how to play his role, and has been doing it at a Hall of Fame level. Now, he’ll do it officially, for at least one more year, as a member of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.