Bucs add another interesting weapon in Gronk

by Gary Shelton on April 22, 2020

in general

Is Howard's job in jeopardy?/JEFFREY S. KING

Wednesday, 4 a.m.

Let it roll off your tongue. Savor the sound. Let it flow.

And get ready to use the word "Gronk" as a verb.

You know; "The Bucs' really Gronked the Panthers on that play." Or, "When you're in the red zone, you have to Gronk it up."

Or this: The Bucs really Gronked New England on Tuesday.

The Bucs acquired Rob Gronkowski, perhaps the finest tight end in NFL history, for their aging and accomplished offense. They gave up a fourth-

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round draft pick for Gronk and a seventh-rounder in a headline-grabbing move, leaving us all to imagine the lethal pitch-and-catch combo of Tom Brady and Gronk in a new start for the franchise (if the pandemic allows it to occur).

The move sent waves through waves through the NFL. Gronkowski had retired to be a play-actor in the world of wrestling, but now, he becomes the most accomplished tight end in Bucs' history. How much he has left at the age of 31 (next month) remains to be seen, but it gives Brady yet another weapon in his huddle.

The best Bucs' tight end? Undoubtedly, that would be Jimmy Giles, who is in the Ring of Honor. But lately, there has been too much underachievement there, with O.J. Howard blurring the lines with Austin Sefarian-Jenkins. Howard was already on the trade block before the Bucs' latest move. However, Howard played more and is less expensive that Cameron Brate, the Bucs' other tight end, so time will tell who will give way for Gronk.

Gronkowski has caught 521 passes in his career, and he's had four 1,000 yard seasons. But in his final year, an injured Gronkowski had only 682 yards.

Still, think about this offense as a defensive coordinator would. Do you double Mike Evans? Chris Godwin? Gronk? Do you send blitzes after Brady? Do you ignore Ronald Jones?

Yeah, the jokes will flow now about how the New England greats all retire to Florida (Logan Mankins started it, if you'll remember).

But I'll say this. The Bucs are the most intriguing they have been since the Super Bowl season.

Now, all they have to is win.

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