Patriots trade Rob Gronkowski to Brady’s Buccaneers as TE ends retirement: report

Tight end Rob Gronkowski has told the New England Patriots he wants to return to the NFL and been subsequently traded to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for a reunion with Tom Brady, multiple outlets reported Tuesday.

According to ESPN, the Patriots will send Gronkowski and a seventh-round pick in this weekend’s draft in exchange for a fourth-round pick. The trade is reportedly pending a physical. 

NFL Network reports Gronkowski has been putting on weight for a return to football, after spending the 2019 season retired.

Gronkowski, who turns 31 in May, had one year and $10 million US remaining on his contract when he retired, so the Patriots still held his rights.

Gronkowski suggested in a video with Andy Cohen published Monday that there was a possibility of teaming up in Tampa Bay with Brady, who signed with the Buccaneers as a free agent in March.

“I’m feeling good right now, I’m happy where I’m at,” Gronkowski said of retirement. “You just never know, man. You never know. I’m not totally done.”

Gronkowski said in November that he wouldn’t say he was “never coming back,” suggesting he could return to the league after a year or two away.

A five-time Pro Bowler and four-time first-team All-Pro, Gronkowski totaled 521 receptions for 7,861 yards and 79 touchdowns across nine seasons for the Patriots from 2010-18. He had 47 catches for 682 yards and three scores in 13 games in 2018, battling a few nagging injuries.