Super Bowl Star Rob Gronkowski Sounds off on Future With Buccaneers

Rob Gronkowski Bucs

Getty Rob Gronkowski left the door open for Julian Edelman to join the Bucs.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have a lot of key players on their roster that are set to hit free agency in March including Rob Gronkowski. Fresh off his two-touchdown performance in the Super Bowl, Gronkowski declared himself free agent for the first time in his career but indicated he planned to return to the Bucs.

Last offseason, Tampa Bay worked out a trade with New England to pair the star tight end with Tom Brady. Gronkowski sat out the 2019 season but his retirement did not last long.

“Yeah, I’ll remain unretired,” Gronkowski said after the Super Bowl. “You know, I’m a free agent. It’s the first time in my career that I’m a free agent. I signed basically like an eight-year contract [with the Patriots] which I played it all out. I signed that one when I was 22 years old and it’s pretty incredible to play out my contract like that with a retirement in between. That’s so real, but I definitely see myself coming back. Just the guys around here, the players around here, the coaches, the people in the front office. They’re all just great people, and I’ve loved working with them all year long. Obviously, going to soak this in and see where I’m at in a couple weeks but I don’t see why not. I don’t see why I won’t be back.”

Gronk Made $9 Million for the Buccaneers Last Season

Gronkowski had a $9 million salary last season and could be due for a pay cut if he wants to remain in Tampa. The Bucs tight end is 31 the same age as Travis Kelce and would likely have a market if he opted to test the free-agent waters.

Gronkowski’s agent Drew Rosenhaus told NBC Sports’ Peter King that the tight end did not want to play with any other quarterback other than Brady this season. These comments indicate Gronkowski is unlikely to play elsewhere if he does not reach a deal with the Bucs.

“Once Brady signed, that was the impetus for everything to happen,” Rosenhaus explained. “I called coach [Bill] Belichick in New England and said it might make sense for Rob to reunite with Tom. They worked out a trade. Rob’s body felt good. Being in Florida was good. He’s the only quarterback Rob ever wanted to play with.”

Arians on Bucs’ Free Agents: ‘I Think That This Group Is so, so Close That Sometimes Dollars Don’t Matter’

Gronkowski joins a lengthy list of players that the Buccaneers will have to make a decision about including Lavonte David, Shaq Barrett, Leonard Fournette and Chris Godwin among others. Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians described himself as “very confident” that the front office will be able to keep the team together for next season.

“I’m very, very confident,” Arians explained, per CBS Sports. “I have all the trust in the world in (general manager) Jason (Licht) and what he would do. These guys, they have a bond. There will be dollars involved. But I think that this group is so, so close that sometimes dollars don’t matter. But we’re going to do everything we can to get the dollars right, too, because they earned it.”

READ NEXT: Tom Brady Sends Epic Message to Bucs Prior to Super Bowl [WATCH]

Read More