The Patriots are trading tight end Rob Gronkowski and a seventh-round pick to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for a fourth-round pick, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported Tuesday afternoon.
The deal is pending a physical.
Gronkowski, who retired in March 2019 after nine NFL seasons and three Super Bowl titles, had reportedly told the Patriots he wanted to play football again — but with former teammate Tom Brady and the Buccaneers. Tampa Bay was the only place Gronkowski wanted to play, according to Schefter.
“Pending the physical, Rob has agreed to play for Tampa this season,” Gronkowski’s agent Drew Rosenhaus told Schefter in a text message. “He will honor his current contract at this time.”
Because the Patriots still owned the rights to Gronkowski’s contract, the team had to strike a deal with the Bucs in order for the move to happen. Gronkowski, 30, has one year remaining on his contract worth $10 million — $9 million in base salary and $1 million in bonuses.
According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, Gronkowski has recently been gaining weight in the hopes of making a return to football.
In an appearance on “Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen” Monday evening, Gronkowski played coy when asked about a potential reunion with Brady.
“Andy, you want to know what’s so great, man?” Gronkowski said with a smile. “The day that I retired, within 24 hours, there was already rumors I was coming out of retirement. I’m feeling good right now. I’m happy where I’m at. You just never know, man, you just never know.”
Since stepping away from the NFL, Gronkowski has stayed busy — and in the spotlight. He partnered with a CBD company, signed a TV deal with Fox, hosted a beach party in Miami for Super Bowl LIV, and won WWE’s 24/7 championship.