The Buffalo Bills will likely be looking to add another tight end this offseason, and some reports suggest a move straight out of a WWE script.
Tight end Dawson Knox had a breakout season for the Bills in 2021, racking up 49 catches for 587 yards and nine touchdowns, just one behind Stefon Diggs for the team lead. But beyond Knox, the Bills got almost no production out of their other tight ends as the next leading pass-catcher out of the group was Tommy Sweeney with nine catches for 44 yards. The only other tight end the Bills had on the roster, Reggie Gilliam, was a converted fullback used primarily as a blocker.
But a new report suggests that the Bills could add a future Hall of Famer — who also happens to be one of the most hated opponents in Buffalo’s history.
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Buffalo Connected to Bucs Tight End
According to the betting outlet Bookies, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and former New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski could be headed to the Bills next season. The outlet pegged the Bills as the frontrunner to land Gronkowski, who will be an unrestricted free agent with no strong connection to Tampa now that friend and lifelong teammate Tom Brady has retired.
Nick Fierro of SI.com’s Bills Central believes it could be a good fit. He noted that Bills might be able to land Gronkowski for a “sensible, below-market, short-term deal, possibly for as little as one year” as long as they provide injury protection. The fact that Buffalo will be a top Super Bowl contender makes them an even stronger contender, Fierro wrote.
Fierro noted that the Bills were able to turn in one of the league’s best passing attacks with just one tight end, and could do even more damage by adding Gronkowski.
“Now picture adding 6-foot-6, 265-pound tight end Rob Gronkowski into the mix with Knox, a running back and a wide receiver or in a spread alignment featuring an empty backfield in which the likes of Gronkowski, Knox and wide receivers Stefon Diggs and Gabriel Davis are ready to fire with one of the league’s preeminent running threats at quarterback, Josh Allen, in the shotgun, ready to pull the trigger,” he wrote.
Bills Fans May Not Be Pleased
This is not the first time rumors connected the Bills to Gronkowski, and fans have not taken very kindly to it. Gronkowski received the only suspension of his career back in 2017 for a dangerously late hit on Bills cornerback Tre’Davious White, then a rookie. The hit came after White intercepted Brady in the waning minutes of what would be a blowout win for the Patriots.
Many Bills fans have still not gotten over the play, which put White in concussion protocol. Gronkowski, by contrast, seems to maintain a lot of goodwill toward Buffalo, where he grew up. In an interview last December, before the Bills played the Bucs, Gronkowski recalled rooting for the Bills as a kid and pretending to be their star players.
“Whenever I was in the backyard playing football with my friends, my brothers and I, you line up out wide you’re pretending you’re the receiver they had,” Gronkowski said, via WKBW. “Moulds was my favorite player. If you make a stop or big hit you’re acting like Takeo Spikes. The history of the Buffalo Bills goes way back for my family and I from playing in the back yard to watching the games.”