Rob Gronkowski received some unexpected news about his role upon re-signing with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for another season.
Bucs general manager Jason Licht looked at Gronkowski’s contract before signing and said, “practice squad. Yep.” Gronkowski exclaimed, “practice squad? Yes!” The humorous exchange, started by Gronkowski jokingly keeping the contract from Licht, started going viral on Monday as the tight end officially re-signed a one-year deal with the Bucs worth up to $10 million.
Licht talked about appreciating Gronkowski’s personality and humor during the 2020 season. Likewise, Licht appreciates Gronkowski’s seriousness, work ethic, and leadership in approaching the gridiron — key reasons for the Bucs’ success in 2020, he told NESN’s Zack Cox in January.
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Ready for More
Gronkowski wants to do that again and he indicated he’s never felt better getting ready for another season after winning a Super Bowl. That’s less than three months after his first-ever 20-game season — regular season and playoffs included.
“I feel like I could play another full season right now if it started,” Gronkowski said in Monday’s press conference. “So, I feel real good. Everything I’ve changed throughout my career is definitely paying off, and it feels great. I feel light. I feel flexible. I feel like I can go out just play some football and just go out and not be thinking — just play football and run routes and do what I’ve gotta do out there on the field.”
He’s especially happy about having played in all 20 games in the 2020 season without injury. He finished many seasons with his previous team in New England all banged up. Injuries and missed games became an annual thing from 2012 on for the veteran tight end per Sports Illustrated’s Kaelen Jones
“A great feeling. It was just something that I wanted to prove to myself, too, that I could do,” Gronkowski said. “The things I’ve learned, and I’ve taken in — I’ve changed. I can play a full season, and I can play a full postseason, you know, and at a high level, too. It’s just great, you know, to complete that mission and now, I feel like I can do it again, too.”
Looking at Bills?
Rumors of Gronkowski’s hometown Buffalo Bills going for him in free agency emerged before he re-signed in Tampa.
“There was a little extent to that,” Gronkowski said in Monday’s press conference. “I was a free agent, so as a free agent, you’re allowed to talk to other teams. There was a couple of other teams also. But just overall, I wanted to be back with the Buccaneers organization.”
“Just the setup here is unbelievable. Just the chemistry that I built over the last season, it’s just fantastic,” Gronkowski added. “Overall it (re-signing) fell into place right away, right on the first day.”
Signing a one-year deal, he didn’t say how long he plans to play beyond 2021 in Tampa or anywhere else.
“I just want to take one year at a time,” Gronkowski said. “I think that’s just the way to do it now. That’s where I am in my career.”