Rob Gronkowski Unretires, Gets Traded to the Bucaneers

Media by Jim Rogash/Getty Images.

He’s back: Rob Gronkowski is returning to the NFL.

Gronkowski went to the University of Arizona where he won awards like Third-Team All-American (2008) and First-Team All-Pac-10 (2008). Gronkowski plays at the tight end position. His 18.8 yards per reception and 1,197 receiving yards were a team record for his position. Then, he was drafted by the New England Patriots in the second round 42nd pick in 2010. Gronkowski is considered one of the best tight ends in the NFL despite missing considerable time missed due to injury. He retired on March 24, 2019, to get his body to be healthier with the possibility to come back. In just a little over a year, on April 21, 2020, Gronkowski came out of retirement to get traded from the New England Patriots to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

In his time with the Patriots, he played nine seasons. Here are some stats and awards he won as a Patriot.

Media by Michael Conroy.
  • 3x Super Bowl Champion (XLIX, LI, LIII)
  • 4x First-team All-Pro (2011, 2014, 2015, 2017)
  • 5x Pro Bowl (2011, 2014, 2015, 2017)
  • NFL 100th Anniversary All-time Team
  • NFL 2010s All-Decades Team
  • NFL receiving Touchdown Leader (2011)
  • NFL Comeback Player of the Year (2014)
  • Reception: 521
  • Receiving 24, Yards: 7,861
  • Total Touchdowns:79

After nine seasons, Gronkowski decided to retire from the NFL and the Patriots. He decided to retire from all of the injuries and pain he had suffered throughout his time playing has taken a toll on his body and mental health. He was not where he wanted to be so he decided to do what the best was for him. “I want to be clear to my fans: I needed to recover,” Gronkowski said, his voice wavering. “I was not in a good place. Football was bringing me down. And I didn’t like it. I was losing that joy in life, like the joy. I’m sorry right now, but ah, dang — I really was. I was fighting through it” (

Media by Michael Becker / FOX.

In his short retirement from the NFL, Gronkowski stayed active. Most recently, he signed a contract with the WWE and won the 24/7 title at Wrestlemania 36The new Bucs tight end was also introduced by his friend and WWE star Mojo Rawley at WWE SmackDown in March. Gronkowski made an appearance on FOX’s “The Masked Singer” and was revealed as the White Tiger. He was also an analyst for the NFL pregame coverage on Fox. He even performed during halftime at different NBA games.

Gronkowski shocked the NFL by unretiring. Then, even more shocking was when it was announced he was getting traded from the Patriots to the Buccaneers to join forces with Tom Brady. Gronkowski and a seventh-round pick was traded for a fourth-round pick in the 2020 draft. Gronk had hinted to Brady that he might come back to playing if the right decision presented itself. Brady signed with the Buccaneers and that helped him decided to come out and play again. His body felt good and the desire to play was there.

Media by Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Kory Inskeep, a fan of the NFL, said “I think it was a crazy move and decision for him to get traded to the Buccaneers with Brady and Gronk having a history and chemistry, but the move isn’t about them making their own team.”

Fans are excited to see how this will all turn out for the Bucs. Catch Brady and Gronk on the field for them next season.


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