With Tom Brady now , there's been some speculation over the past few weeks that Rob Gronkowski might want to join him in his new location. Of course, before that could happen, not only would Gronk have to come out of retirement, but the Patriots would have to relinquish his rights or pull off a trade, which actually isn't as far-fetched as you might think.
The Gronk rumors have been so persistent that Buccaneers general manager Jason Licht during a recent press conference, and he didn't exactly shoot down the idea.
"Well he's doing a pretty good job in WrestleMania right now," Licht said. "I have no idea if he'd want to play."
So does Gronk want to play?
During an online video chat last week, Gronk was actually asked about the Tampa rumors and he didn't shoot them down. Although Gronk have the chance to refute the story, he decided to go another route: He spent 20 seconds making fun of the Twitter account that first started the speculation.
"Wow, PFT Commenter. Yo, you know PFT Commenter, his dog is starting some crazy rumors out there," Gronk said. "His dog, Leroy, dog. You've got to keep your dog quiet. Leroy, you got to stay quiet, man. Oh man, he's barking up a storm."
OK, so that was a vague answer, but earlier this week, Gronk did offer a much more intriguing answer about a potential return during an interview on "Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen." During that conversation, Gronk said that he might not be "totally done" with football.
"I'm feeling good right now," Gronkowski said. "I'm happy where I'm at and you just never know, man. You just never know. You never know. I'm not totally done ... I got to get that feeling back."
Gronk's answer makes you think that it's at least possible that he's mulling a potential return, and let's be real, the idea of Gronk returning isn't completely crazy.
The biggest obstacle standing between Gronk and a reunion with Brady is the fact that the Patriots still own Gronk's rights for one more year. The problem for the Patriots though is that if Gronk came out of retirement, it would put them in salary cap hell. As of April 20, the Patriots have roughly $2.1 million in salary cap space, which is a huge issue, because if Gronk came out of retirement, they'd have to immediately make room for his $9.25 million cap hit. If they couldn't make the room, then the Patriots would have two options: Trade him immediately or cut him.
That Patriots cap space number is actually even worse than it sounds, because that doesn't even include their 2020 draft picks. Once their draft picks sign with the team, the Patriots will have even less cap space, unless they miraculously find a way to free up some cap room, which isn't something that would be easy to do.
One other interesting nugget here is that the Buccaneers have reportedly put tight end O.J. Howard for 2020 is just $1.98 million, which means if the Patriots want a tight end, they could trade for Howard in any potential deal that would send Gronk to Tampa.in a move that came just days after the Gronk speculation started. Howard's base salary
One other thing that makes this speculation intriguing is that Gronk's agent, Drew Rosenhaus, pointed out last year that the one scenario that might be enough to get Gronk to come out of retirement was if Brady personally. Although Gronk , that was back when Brady was playing for the Patriots, who are coached by Bill Belichick, a guy who Gronk was reportedly frustrated with .
A chance to reunite with Brady in a more laid back atmosphere might be exactly what it takes to get Gronk out of retirement, which is why all this speculation isn't so far-fetched.