The opportunity to join his longtime quarterback Tom Brady in Tampa Bay was enough to bring Rob Gronkowski out of retirement, but would he have returned to the New England Patriots if Brady re-signed?
Gronk, who was traded to the Buccaneers on Tuesday for a fourth-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, answered that question during his introductory press conference.
"I would have definitely looked at the opportunity, for sure," Gronkowski said. "Hands down."
"I really wasn't sure if I still wanted to play. I had a little fire underneath me, but it definitely would have been an opportunity I would have looked at, for sure. Because playing with Tom is special. I mean, he's one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time and to build a connection with a quarterback too is something special ...
"It just happened to be the right opportunity I felt like down in Tampa. Yes, Tom is definitely -- he was like the appetizer of the whole meal. You know? He got me hooked when he went down to Tampa. I saw what was down there, just the opportunity to go down there and play with that type of offense. I mean, they got some special wide receivers out there, they got other great tight ends and let me tell you, I love working with tight ends too so I'm definitely looking forward to that."
Watch the full clip below:
If Tom Brady had stayed in New England, would Gronk have returned? pic.twitter.com/os6lQe2jL0— NBC Sports Boston (@NBCSBoston) April 22, 2020
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That sure sounds like someone who planned on following Brady wherever he went, even if it meant returning to play for Bill Belichick. Of course, there's also a chance Gronkowski jumped at the opportunity to catch passes from Brady in a more laid-back environment.
Regardless, the Patriots have plenty of uncertainty at both the quarterback and tight end positions heading into this week's NFL Draft. Jarrett Stidham and Brian Hoyer are the only two QBs currently on the depth chart, while Matt LaCosse and Ryan Izzo are the only TEs.
We can expect that to change by the time Saturday night comes around.