Rob Gronkowski’s first words after his trade to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers was made official didn’t sit too well with the New England Patriots’ fanbase. On Thursday, Gronk took to Instagram to address the organization and fans with nothing but love and respect.
Rob Gronkowski Addresses Robert Kraft, Bill Belichick and Patriots Organization on Instagram
Beginning his proper farewell message at the top of the organization, Gronkowski said the following to Patriots owner Robert Kraft and head coach/general manager Bill Belichick:
First and foremost, I want to thank the Patriots Organization for everything over the last 10 years. Without Mr. Kraft and
Coach Belichick taking a chance on me in the 2010 draft, I wouldn’t be sitting here in this position in life, THANK YOU both as well my former teammates for everything over the years. .
If you read the scouting report on Gronkowski from 2010, almost no one expected him to turn into one of the greatest tight ends in NFL history. Beyond his wild personality and partying, Belichick took a chance on a guy who had injury red flags coming out of Arizona. Gronk is right to pay his respect to Belichick.
Rob Gronkowski Pays Tribute to Patriots Fans on Instagram
The group of people likely most offended by Gronk’s first comments after the trade are the fans. Football fans take perceived negative comments about their teams personally, and Gronk came off as a little insulting to the Patriots.
Perhaps that’s why he included this section in his IG post:
New England Patriot Fans, you guys have been nothing but amazing. I love you guys and appreciate your constant support for me big time over the last 10 years (even during retirement). THANK YOU all so much, the memories are incredible #PatsNation.
Rob Gronkowski Addresses the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Organization and Fans on Instagram
With an eye on the “next chapter” in his life, Gronkowski talked about his health, regaining his fire, being excited about the next season.
I am beyond excited for this new chapter in my life. It’s an opportunity I will certainly not take for granted. I said it from the beginning that I wouldn’t come back to the game unless I’m feeling it, feeling healthy, and feeling ready to play. Taking a year off was hands down the best decision I made, not just in my career, but also for my health and well-being, and I would do that all over again. And now my fire is back. I am grateful for this new chapter of my career. I’m pumped to get down to Tampa, meet my new teammates, work hard, have a blast doing it, and give it my all this season!! I’m back and ready to lay a smack! #GoBucs!! ARRR!!! ?☠️?
What’s especially noteworthy in this post is who isn’t mentioned one time. Gronkowski never says Tom Brady’s name. This probably isn’t an accident.
After insisting upon being traded to the Bucs upon his return to the NFL, Gronk said Brady was the biggest reason he wanted to return to the field. This may have rubbed Patriots fans, old teammates, and members of the organization the wrong way. It could also bee taken the wrong way by his new teammates.
Brady and Gronk shouldn’t want to head into the Bucs locker room in a click-ish manner. All the offseason talk surrounding the team has been about Brady and Gronk, and very little about guys like Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Lavante David, or Ronald Jones II.
Gronk needs to tread a little more lightly as he moves into his next challenge.