When Tom Brady announced he was leaving the New England Patriots and joining the Buccaneers, Rob Gronkowski decided to come out of retirement and give it a few more tries in the NFL. While he hasn’t been as dominant as he was in New England, Gronk was a very effective tight end with Tampa Bay.
Unfortunately, the retirement of Brady has thrown the long-term outlook for Tampa into flux. While they will likely try to add a veteran quarterback in the near future, 2021 second-round pick Kyle Trask likely has the inside track on a starter job. Gronkowski probably won’t sign up for that.
If Gronk wants to continue his playing career without Brady, he will likely garner interest from contenders looking for a veteran that can be a red zone threat. One such rival lies in the AFC East, which could have some tough short-term consequences for New England.
Tim Graham of The Athletic is reporting that the Buffalo Bills are kicking the tires on signing Gronkowski. A two tight end offense featuring Gronkowski and Dawson Knox would be a lethal combination, and it’ll really hurt Patriots nation to see Gronk in different shades of red, white, and blue.
Will Patriots legend Rob Gronkowski sign with the Bills?
Gronkowski caught 55 passes for 802 yards and six touchdowns despite missing five games due to injury. As Tampa Bay’s wide receivers room started to succumb to injuries, Gronk was able to make up for it by putting together his finest season in years.
On one hand, Gronkowski has been adamant about refusing to play without Brady as his quarterback. Not only did he come out of retirement to join Tampa Bay for this reason, but he allegedly threatened to retire when being mentioned in a potential trade to Matt Patricia’s Lions.
On the other hand, Gronk grew up just 20 minutes outside of Buffalo in nearby Amherst and was a Bills fan as a kid. Playing with Josh Allen is certainly not going to be a huge downgrade, and he’d get the chance to add another ring on a team many consider to be the best in the AFC.
The Patriots have seen franchise legends like Ty Law and Adam Vinatieri leave for some of their biggest rivals, but Gronkowski defecting again and this time to a rival would perhaps hurt most of all. Still, the future Hall of Famer has earned the right to chase as many rings as he desires.