Does Rob Gronkowski really want to return to the NFL? Is he only willing to play with Tom Brady? Would Bill Belichick consider trading Gronkowski to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers? Would the New England Patriots try to retain Gronkowski’s services if he was serious about coming out of retirement?
Rob Gronkowski is a three time Super Bowl champion with the New England Patriots, he's also the current WWE 24/7 champion, but that hasn't stopped rumors from swirling that Gronkowski wants to make his NFL comeback in 2020, unfortunately for Patriots fans, Gronk apparently wants to play in Tampa Bay with Tom Brady, and not in New England for Bill Belichick.
NFL Insider Leroy reported that fullback Anthony Sherman was re-signing with the Kansas City Chiefs before it happened. Now he is reporting that Gronk wants to rekindle with Brady in Tampa. While the scenario is highly unlikely, Leroy the Barstool dog tweeted out last week that this could be a thing.
"Hearing a wild rumor that has serious legs. Rob Gronkowski is strongly considering returning to the NFL to play for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with his old teammate Tom Brady. He has been training in Florida in addition to WrestleMania."
Last year Patriots owner Robert Kraft said Rob Gronkowski never signed his retirement papers, that kept the media frenzy and rumor mill around a possible Gronkowski return in full motion. It also gave Patriots fans a false hope that Gronk was going to return and fix the offense. Every time Gronkowski would say he was done, shortly after he would re open the door with a you never know. Gronkowski did admit after that he kept the window open because people didn't stop asking him about a return, so he decided to have fun with it. It's no secret that Patriots players are treated like corporate employees, and it's all work, so I doubt that Gronkowski would want to return to New England, especially since Gronkowski said in 2018 that he wouldn't play with any quarterback but Tom Brady.
If this rumor has the legs that Leroy claims it does, and Gronkowski does indeed want to return to football,l and play with Tom Brady in Tampa Bay, a couple of things need to happen before that could becomes a real possibility for Gronkowski. The Patriots hold Gronk's playing rights, and if we have learned anything the last 20 years, there's no way Bill Belichick is going to just cut and let him become a Buccaneer for nothing. The Patriots actually couldn't even afford to activate Gronk to cut him and encour the dead cap penalty. We have seen players retire and then come out of retirement and sign with another team. We have also seen players retire and have their rights traded. Then there are situations like Barry Sanders and Dan Marino, where the teams kept the rights to the players and refused to grant them from finding a new team. Is Bill Belichick cold and callis enough to keep Gronk home out of spite, or will he grant the future Hall of Famers request and let him play for the Buccaneers? My gut tells me Belichick will try and will capitalize on this move if its a real thing.
So that obviously means if Gronkowski were to return and move to Tampa Bay a trade has to be worked out between New England and the Buccaneers. A healthy Gronkowski is worth a first round pick, but in 2018 he was a shell of his dominant self, and probably worth more than a fifth round pick. But, his name and relationship with Brady should give the Patriots the ability to ask for more.
Patriots fans shouldn't expect a straight up trade for a player like O.J. Howard. Gronk's value due to injury is around mid round level. So a fourth or a fourth round player equivalent would be the trade value , give or take. If Gronkowski wanted to return, a trade would be barring he could pass a physical and could get a release from his WWE contract. Currently, Rob Gronkowski is the 24/7 championship, adding to the number of WWE title holders to come from western NY.