“I Don’t Want To Talk About If He Doesn’t Come Back”

May 10th, 2022

Either there’s a state of denial at One Buc Palace or the team knows something it’s not sharing.

Future Hall of Fame Bucs tight end Rob Gronkowski is a free agent. The Bucs have made it clear they want him back and they cleared enough salary cap room to pay him, but Gronk has been non-committal in recent months except when it comes to partying.

It’s likely Gronk wants to avoid re-signing before mandatory minicamp in early June. Why? Because if he signs afterwards, he can’t be fined for skipping those practices.

Joe could speculate many other reasons that Gronk wants to wait to sign for third season with Tampa Bay. The Bucs surely want him in for training camp, where they could go easy on Gronk’s body.

Offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich was asked about Gronk’s future today and wouldn’t go there. “I don’t want to talk about if he doesn’t come back,” Leftwich said.

That just about sums up Joe’s attitude. Gronk is irreplaceable in the lineup and irreplaceable as it relates to Tom Brady’s confidence.

Joe hopes Gronk signs before training camp, takes the first week very easy and then eases his way in before tune-up contact in the joint practices with the Titans in Nashville. No need for preseason.

Given the slight grin on Leftwich’s face, Joe assumes Leftwich knows he’ll see Gronk in uniform in late-July.

26 Responses to ““I Don’t Want To Talk About If He Doesn’t Come Back””

  1. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    A “Gronk-a-Day” article keeps us updated on the latest Gronk news which hasn’t changed one bit from yesterday. It’s a long way to August.

    Now…..I believe that there are 4 or 5 or $9m reasons for Gronk to return.

    !. $9mil
    2. Camille likes it when he plays
    3. Tom likes it when he plays
    4. A shot at another ring
    5. Going into the HOF the same year as Tom.

  2. Casual Observer Says:

    This “drama” has gone on too long. I wish he would just sign. Now.

  3. Bucsfan4ever Says:

    Maybe Gronk is pulling another “Brady.”
    Just to create mystique and “brand” and nothing else…..

  4. Bucsfan4ever Says:

    Let’s face it: Brady created an eternal wirlwind mystery.
    People are gonna speculate about this forever.

  5. Bucsfan4ever Says:

    It’s good for an entire chapter or two in a future book deal.

  6. Bucsfan4ever Says:

    Or movie deal.

  7. sasquatch Says:

    Unless they know he’s coming back for sure, but is just waiting it out, I’d be in the mindstate of preparing for life without Gronk. Somebody, maybe lots of people at OBP know if he’s coming back for sure. Leftwich sounds like he’s counting on it.

  8. Smashsquatch Says:

    Who thinks for one second Gronk may not play for the Bucs on TB’s farewell tour with a great chance to reach another SB? I see more monster spikes coming to RJS this fall, bank on it.

  9. #8 Says:

    Gronka back. Go sign Suh.

  10. Mikejp Says:

    Agree with Joe, Tom can skip the practice and nobody complains about that. But Gronk is not that level yet to immune against the noise.

  11. JA Says:

    Gronk will sign when he looks around and realizes he’s the oldest guy at all the beer guzzling parties he attends. Hopefully this ‘Frank The Tank’ image he’s cultivated will retire before he does.
    Then again, having perfectly sculpted twenty—something beach babes throwing themselves at you might put the old maturation process on hold for awhile.

  12. Biff Barker Says:

    Gronk will sign at the last minute possible. He said he was going to make Brady sweat it out and is making good on his comment.

    Meanwhile, the Bucs hedged their bets during the draft just in case. I say great, more reps for Otten anf Ko.

  13. JimbobBucsFan Says:

    Good one, JA! 😋

    I believe the Bucs did hedge there bet on Gronk. I think they did the best they could have regarding bringing in new Tight Ends because of the way the draft fell this year. I expect to see Gronk in a Buccaneer uniform come September. Should that not be the case I would not be shocked to see Licht spring a trade from “out of nowhere” to provide for our needs.

  14. SOEbuc Says:

    Pretty simple. Gronk is not going to retire one year before Brady (?)

  15. '79 Defense Says:

    Don’t we already know that Brady talked with Gronk a long time ago and knows that he will be back? I just can’t see Gronk denying Brady.

  16. DarenGibo Says:

    I don’t feel there is drama… Gronk’s body has taken a beating. he doesn’t want to sign now and then be “that guy” not showing up for training camp/OTA, so he will be signing after those pass….

  17. GOB Says:

    @Joe, isn’t it true that the team can’t take the fines back now? Thought I heard that somewhere. Some to do with the CBA. If so, this.makes perfect sense. He’ll be back.
    As for the player himself. You can’t count on Gronk. I’d be fine with a mid season return.

  18. HC Grover Says:

    They are paying his money to Gabbert. Brillint coaching staff.

  19. sasquatch Says:

    ^^ Brilliant comment… Gabbert makes 2 million, dumbass. That’s a reasonable price for a backup with experience.

  20. David Says:

    There is no doubt in my mind that the Buccaneers already know that he’s coming back and when.

  21. steele Says:

    Just proceed without Gronk. Brate, Otton, Kieft need to get out there and show what they’ve got, ASAP. If it doesn’t look good, there are many areas that still need to be addressed in free agency (hello, pass rush), and this is one of them. They can still grab a Kyle Rudolph or one of the other FAs for a year.

    If Gronk wants to sashay in at the last moment, fine. But the team has to prepare now.

  22. Rod Munch Says:

    I expect Gronk will sign about 2-weeks before the season starts. If you watched that ‘Man in the Arena’ series, in that last episode about the Bucs, Gronk said he hadn’t touched a football in a long-time when Brady called him up and they went and threw one around, and he said instantly, he was ready to go. Now he said it still took several weeks to get back into playing shape, but this time around he’s not coming back from a year off, he’d had only missed a few weeks of camp.

    Worse case, Brate will wiff on a block in week 4, and everyone will flood Gronk’s social media with the video, and Gronk will feel bad for his buddy and come back.

  23. Listnfrmafar Says:

    He would have to be a total dink to jersey the Bucs around like this and he’s NOT a dink. Unless Bucs are jerking him around.

  24. Mr Bean Says:

    He is just waiting for his mom to get him his football pants. He will be back.

  25. Bucs Win Says:

    In response to the first paragraph, looking at the body language of the coach, it’s the latter.

  26. Vadertime Says:

    Strategically, I can understand why Gronk doesn’t want to sign early. Why punish one’s body during early training camp, when he can put it off till late summer. I am sure he will be back just to bring balance into the Brady Universe.

    Now, the front office needs to go sign Suh back for 1 more year. Load his contract with incentives and bonuses, but get him back. He is a key component to the defensive line and Bowles should be lobbying furiously with the GM and ownership to get him a contract.