After the retirement of Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski’s future with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers has become the biggest story for the team heading into the offseason. Gronkowski is a free agent but there has been speculation the star could join Brady in retirement.
During Super Bowl week, Brady’s favorite target prompted speculation that he would be open to catching passes from Joe Burrow in Cincinnati. During a February 8 appearance for Autograph NFTs, Gronkowski was asked what quarterback he would want to play with now that Brady has retired, per Mass Live’s Chris Mason.
“I kinda like this young buck quarterback. He’s in the Super Bowl now: It’s Joe Burrow, man,” Gronkowski responded. “I watched him in college. I just love the way he presents himself out on the football field. In the pocket he’s just so calm and he just slings it out on the field.
“I just love his swag, too. If I had to pick a quarterback it’d be the young buck Joe Burrow. He’s killing it right now in the game.”
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Bucs: Gronk’s Decision Will be ‘Independent’ of Brady
After Brady officially retired, Buccaneers general manager Jason Licht squashed the notion that Gronkowski’s decision on his future is tied to the legendary quarterback. Licht added that the Bucs would welcome Gronkowski back with “open arms” if he wants to play for another season.
“I don’t suspect that,” Licht said of Gronkowski’s future during a February 1 press conference. “I think that’s yet to be seen. I’m giving Rob the respect to give him some time to see how he feels here in the next coming of weeks after a long, grueling season. When you played in the league for 11 years, you need a little time to think things through to see if you want to go through with it for another year. From my conversations with Rob, he just needs that.
“I don’t think it’s going to be dependent on whether Tom came back or not from what I understand and I know that Rob had an incredible experience here as well. He was a big factor in us having the success that we had. We would welcome Rob back with open arms, but we’re giving him his space right now to decide on what he wants to do.”
Gronkowski Is Projected to Land a 1-Year, $7 Million Contract in Free Agency
Gronkowski’s comments about the Bengals may just be the playmaker’s way of poking the bear a bit. The tight end battled injuries throughout the 2021 season, and it will be interesting to see if he plays in 2022. Gronkowski notched 55 receptions for 802 yards and six touchdowns in 12 appearances last season.
If Gronkowski opts to play in 2022, he will likely have plenty of suitors from contenders. Pro Football Focus projects that Gronkowski will land a one-year, $7 million contract if he does not retire. Gronkowski is ranked as Pro Football Focus’ No. 3 ranked free-agent tight end and the No. 35 overall available player.