NFL Marijuana Policy Key Factor in Gronk Coming Out of Retirement

Getty Rob Gronkowski's salary won't change heading into 2020 with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Former Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski shocked many by announcing that he was coming out of retirement. Gronk will join Tom Brady in Tampa Bay after the Buccaneers traded for him, and it appears that something unique played a role in his decision: the NFL’s marijuana policy.

Gronkowski has had health issues over his playing career that forced him to hang up his cleats. He’s been an advocate of the use of CBD — cannabidiol, a non-psychoactive compound in cannabis, according to — saying it helps with his recovery. Gronk is a paid spokesman for CBDMEDIC, and that will continue now that he is back on the playing field, the company told Heavy.

“I left the game last year after realizing that my body had taken a beating and needed to recover. I’ve taken the recovery process seriously and CBDMEDIC has played a big role in my recovery,” Gronk said in a statement that Heavy acquired via email.

“Now I’m glad to share that I’m back in the game! As a result of my personal experience, I have advocated for the use of CBD products to be available to both the public and professional athletes and am glad to see changes in policy with sports organizations across the board.”

NFL Recently Changed Marijuana Policy

The NFL’s most recent collective bargaining agreement featured a change in the league’s drug policy. Players will no longer be subjected to suspension as a result of testing positive for marijuana. Gronkowski shared his thoughts on the matter in October when asked about the possibility of coming out of retirement.

“I don’t want to be banned from playing the sport I love because I’m using a product that anyone can buy right off the shelf at their local pharmacy,” Gronkowski said last October. “I’m not really sure why it’s banned.

“I also want to have the option to get back into the game, and if I’m banned next year I can’t,” Gronkowski added.

Tampa Bay Not Done Making Big Splashes

The Bucs made the two flashiest offseason moves with Brady and Gronk, and it appears they are not done. Tampa Bay is looking to make a major move in the NFL Draft, possibly moving up into the first round.

The franchise is eyeing one of the top tackles in the draft. Louisville’s Mekhi Becton, Alabama’s Jedrick Wills, Iowa’s Tristan Wirfs and Georgia’s Andrew Thomas are considered to be in the top tier at the position, though all four could be selected in the top-10.

The front office may be willing to be aggressive on draft night in pursuit of a player who can protect Brady’s blindside. It’s not clear what it’ll cost Tampa Bay to move up.

The Broncos — owners of the No. 15 pick — are also eyeing one of the top tackles in the draft and could move up. There’s chatter that Denver is high on Jerry Jeudy, so if the franchise makes a trade into the top-10, it’s no guarantee that it’ll take one of Tampa’s coveted prospects.

Rumblings that the Falcons could move into the top-5 surfaced recently, as Heavy’s Kelsey Kramer reported. Atlanta is looking for a cornerback, so they are directly impacting the Bucs’ pursuit of a tackle, though they could indirectly drive up the price to trade up for a top selection. The Colts could trade up from No. 34 (Washington’s second-round that they acquired in the 2019 draft), though it’s unlikely that they get into the top half of the draft.

More on the NFL:

Andy Dalton Likely to Find New Home on Draft Night

Ravens React to Donald Trump’s Endorsement

Steelers Linked to QB Expected to Fall in Draft

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