There are rumblings that the tight end could follow Brady to Florida. Buccaneers GM Jason Licht was asked about such a scenario in a conference call with reporters on Thursday.
“Well, he’s doing a pretty good job in WrestleMania right now,” Licht said of Gronk’s WWE role (via ESPN’s Jenna Laine). “I have no idea if he’d want to play.”
Patriots Still Own Gronk’s Rights
The Patriots still own Gronkowski’s rights and Licht acknowledged as much on the conference call with the media. Tampa Bay would need to work out a deal with New England to bring the tight end to town.
What would that look like? It’s unclear but it’s hard to imagine Bill Belichick just allowing Gronkowski to waltz down to Tampa Bay with Brady as the coach/GM toils away up in New England. Expect the Patriots to get an asset in return should Gronk come back and want to play elsewhere.
The Buccaneers already have a solid tight end core, employing O.J. Howard and Cameron Brate. Yet, neither has the resume of Gronkowski, who has caught 80 touchdowns in his career.
How Long Will Brady Play?
In a letter on The Players Tribune, Brady said he’s physically capable to play the quarterback position at a high level. He admits that he likely won’t play 10 years, though how he could “maximize” the remaining years played a major role in his decision.
“In the time left, the question is, How can I keep maximizing what I do, put everything I can into it, make it the best I possibly can? At this point in my career, the only person I have to prove anything to is myself,” said Brady, who will turn 43 in August.
“Physically, I’m as capable of doing my job as I’ve ever been. Now I want to see what more I can do. I want to see how great I can be. I want to hear other people say, “Go, man. Now that’s what we’ve been missing. That’s what we need! That’s what we’ve been looking for!” Deep down I know what I can do. I know what I can bring. Now I want to see it in action.”
Brady still has things to prove to himself. He said he’s trying to do something that has never been done in the NFL. Peyton Manning is the only QB in his story to win Super Bowls with two different franchises, having earned his second nod at age 39. If Brady becomes the second QB to join that list in 2020, he’d do so at age 43. Brady said the challenges at this age are “actually fun” for him.
“That’s actually fun for me, too, because I know I can do them,” Brady wrote in the letter. “When a team gives you the opportunity to do those things with them, well … if not with them, then who?
“At some point, you have to throw your whole body into what you’re doing. You have to say, Let’s ride. Let’s see what we got.”
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