It wouldn’t be draft week without some groundbreaking news sending shockwaves around the NFL. It has been reported that Rob Gronkowski plans to return to football in 2020. However, he only wants to play with Tom Brady and the Buccaneers.
Now Adam Schefter has shared that the Patriots (who still own the tight end’s rights) have a deal in place to send Gronkowski and a 2020 seventh-round pick to the Bucs in exchange for a 2020 fourth-round pick.
Trade, pending physical: Patriots are trading TE Rob Gronkowski and a seventh-round pick to the Buccaneers for a fourth-round pick, source tells ESPN.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) April 21, 2020
As others have pointed out, the move isn’t unprecedented. Marshawn Lynch made a similar return to football after retiring in 2016. He sat out an entire season before announcing his wishes to play football for his hometown Oakland Raiders.
The Seahawks obliged and traded Lynch to the Bay Area in a deal that included the swap of fifth- and sixth-round picks in the 2018 NFL Draft. Lynch went on to play two seasons with the Raiders. He appeared in 21 games and racked up 1,267 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns.
Lynch then proceeded to sit out almost the entire 2019 season before signing with the Seahawks in Week 17. He scored four touchdowns in three games for Seattle, including a pair of scores in the Divisional Round against the Packers. Whether or not Lynch wants to play again in 2020 remains unclear.
Gronkowski is still just 30 years old, and so it’s conceivable that he’s still got plenty of good football left in him. Taking a year off to get his body right may end up being a huge benefit to his game. Gronk still has one year left on his current contract worth $10 million. It’s unclear whether or not he will restructure that deal with the Bucs.
But that’s a tomorrow problem. Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski have reunited, and in Tampa Bay of all places. Imagine reading that two months ago.