Rob Gronkowski is “going for two” with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but the tight end received plenty of free-agent interest as teams tried to pry him away from Tom Brady. NFL Network’s Mike Silver reported Gronkowski received a “similar offer” from the Bills prior to re-signing with the Bucs.
“Before re-signing with the Bucs, Rob Gronkowski considered a similar offer from the Bills… his hometown team,” Silver noted on Twitter. “I’d expect the Bills to add a tight end at some point.”
The Bills confirmed they had discussions with Gronkowski but denied the report that the team presented the tight end with a formal offer. Bills general manager Brandon Beane admitted it, “would have been an upset for him to leave Tom Brady.”
“We spoke to his representatives about him, definitely,” Beane noted, per Pro Football Talk. “Again, just like we do with J.J. Watt or these other guys. We never made an official offer or anything like that. We did check in on him to see if there would be an interest, and I think there was some interest. But at the end of the day, probably would have been an upset for him to leave Tom Brady.”
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Gronk Wanted to ‘Dip My Toes’ Into Free Agency
Gronkowski eventually signned a one-year, $10 million contract to return to Tampa, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter. Prior to signing his new deal, Gronkowski noted he wanted to, “dip my toes” into the free-agent waters.
“I definitely want to be back with the Buccaneers,” Gronkowski explained on the 10 Questions with Kyle Brandt podcast, via Pro Football Talk. “That’s where my eyesight is. That’s where I’m leaning toward, big time. But with the free agency process, you just never know what may happen. There’s some other teams interested out there, too. I’ve also never been a part of the free agency process, so I actually want to dip my toes in, just to see what’s out there.”
The Buccaneers are slated to have a deep tight end group next season with O.J. Howard expected to return to the field after recovering from a ruptured Achilles tendon. Gronkowski was not heavily involved in the Buccaneers’ offense until late in the season but saved his best for last with two touchdowns in the Super Bowl.
The Bills Denied Making an Offer to Gronk But Admitted There Was ‘Some Interest’
Bucs fans are happy they will not have to watch Gronkowski catch touchdown passes from Josh Allen next season. Gronkowski grew up in Buffalo and reflected on his love for the Bills’ culture during a 2017 interview.
“It’s just a dream come true every single time you get to go to your hometown and play,” Gronkowski explained at the time, per USA Today. “I treat it as an honor to go back and play and I always get excited for it because you’re playing in front of your family and friends you grew up with.”
Beane admitted the Bills “expressed some interest” in Gronkowski but believes the tight end’s high profile increased the rumors. Brady restructured his contract to help the Bucs create cap space to re-sign Gronkowski and the team’s other key free agents.
“Yeah, I think he expressed some interest that this might be an opportunity he would consider,” Beane added, per Pro Football Talk. “We exchanged some back and forth with the agent just understanding what his market would be and what they would be looking for and what his role here would be and how we saw it. That’s what you do with a lot of players, but again. Again, like J.J. Watt, Gronk is a big name, and so some of those get leaked out. There are many more that happen the same that don’t get leaked out.”