Rob Gronkowski says Tom Brady the ‘appetizer’ that drew him to Buccaneers
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers made yet another splash this offseason by effectively bringing tight end Rob Gronkowski out of retirement by trading to acquire him from the New England Patriots. It is safe to say that the signing of quarterback Tom Brady had been the first domino to fall in his future arrival.
Gronkowski will be reunited with the only quarterback played with throughout his NFL career. Although many have assumed that Brady’s presence was the deciding factor for him to come back to the league, he admits that it certainly helped him kickstart the process, via NFL Network’s Michael Girardi:
“Tom was like the appetizer for the whole meal…”
Gronk says he would have thought about coming back to NE had Brady returned but also noted – in his unique way – that "Tom was like the appetizer for the whole meal…" when he signed with Tampa Bay. @nflnetwork
— Michael Giardi (@MikeGiardi) April 22, 2020
According to Nick Shook of Around the NFL, Gronkowski added that the idea of playing Florida also played an integral role in his decision.
“I just like Florida a lot. That’s what was really appealing to me, too.”
It seems that Gronkowski would have also been open to a return to New England if they opted to sign Brady, via Mark Daniels of the Providence Journal.
Had Brady returned to the Patriots Gronk he would’ve “definitely looked at the opportunity” to come back to Foxboro to play. He added “playing with Tom is special.”
Had Brady returned to the Patriots Gronk he would've
"definitely looked at the opportunity" to come back to Foxboro to play. He added "playing with Tom is special."
— Mark Daniels (@MarkDanielsPJ) April 22, 2020
Gronkowski’s comments only add further salt to the wound for Patriots fans. Rather than bring back this tandem for another potential championship run to officially end the most decorated period in franchise history, they decided to usher in a new era while Brady and Gronkowski took their talents to Clearwater Beach.
The prospect of pairing up with Brady to start a new chapter in Tampa Bay was seemingly too good to pass up for Gronkowski. They will now help form one of the most high-powered offense in the league and expectations for the Buccaneers could not be any higher in the 2020 NFL season. Of course, it is a fitting way to finish the book on the two players’ respective careers as future, first-ballot Hall of Famers.