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Tampa Bay acquires Rob Gronkowski from Pats, pairs TE with Tom Brady

Former New England Patriots player Rob Gronkowski looks on during the game between the Boston Celtics and the Denver Nuggets at TD Garden on December 06, 2019 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Retired tight end Rob Gronkowski is on the verge of returning to the NFL, and he’s told the only team he’s played for, the New England Patriots, as much, according to multiple reports.

However, Gronkowski expressed the desire to only play for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and former Patriots teammate Tom Brady. Because Gronkowski remains under a contract with New England, the teams discussed a trade, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport and ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

The deal of Gronkowski and a seventh-round pick to Tampa Bay in exchange for a fourth-round pick was quickly reported after initial rumblings earlier in the day, and became official later on Tuesday.

Gronkowski, the former Arizona Wildcats star, has hinted since his 2018 departure from football that he could return.

“I’m feeling good right now, I’m happy where I’m at,” Gronkowski told TV show host Andy Cohen this week. “You just never know man. I’m not totally done, I like to stay in shape. I’ve got to get that feeling back.”

Gronkowski, who will turn 31 in May, was a second-round pick by the Patriots in 2010 and won three Super Bowl rings, earning four First Team All-Pro accolades from 2010-18.

He surpassed the 1,000-yard mark in four of his nine NFL seasons and in five of them had more than 10 touchdown receptions.

While injuries piled up, he still caught 47 passes for 682 yards and three touchdowns in his last season of action.


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