Should Gronk make the Bucs’ Ring of Honor?

by Gary Shelton on July 22, 2022

in general

Was Gronkowski a Buc long enough?/TIM WIRT

Friday, 4 a.m.

Now that he is done -- if indeed he is done -- then all that remains of the wonderful career of Rob Gronkowski is to measure him for immortality.

The shadow he left is broad, and his footprints have been deep. For the attention his quirky personality drew, he was an impressive football player, inarguably one of the best handful of tight ends ever to play professional football.

Yes, he is going to the Hall of Fame.

But here's another question: Is he going into the Bucs' Ring of Honor?

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I know, I know. Your first response is "heck yeah." He won a Super Bowl. He was an impact player. Again, he's going to the Big Room,

Ah, but with Gronk, the question is if he played here long enough to be remembered not just as an NFL legend, but as a Buc legend.

He played just 28 games (plus six in the post-season). He caught only 100 passes (plus 17 in the playoffs). He gained 1,425 yards (plus 226 in the playoffs). Is that enough? Is that immortal enough?

This is soon to be a burning question for the Bucs. For most Halls, the measure of whether someone belongs is talent multiplied by longevity. Every now and then, there is a player such as Gale Sayers, who is so dazzling that he makes it despite a short career.

The Bucs' recent successes, however, have been led by short-termers who made most of their hay elsewhere. Tom Brady is going to get into every Hall imaginable. He's the best quarterback, by far, the Bucs have ever had. And he'll get in a third season this year.

But has enough of the greatness of Jason Pierre-Paul come here for him to get into the Ring? How about Ndamukong Suh?

But how about Gronk? He never made the Pro Bowl as a Buc. He never led the team in receiving.

Oh, this isn't to downplay Cronk's career.Along with Tony Gonzalez, John Mackey and Kellen Wilsow, he's in the argument for the best-ever tight end.

Here's a comparison for you. Guard Randall McDaniel, a Hall of Famer, played his last two seasons with the Bucs. One of those years was a Pro Bowl year. Yet, he's never mentioned as a Ring of Honor candidate. Not enough of his legacy came here.

Hey, it isn't as if there aren't current players who are going to reach the Ring of Honor. Brady. Mike Evans. Lavonte David. Probably just retired Ali Marpey. My personal opinion is that former Bucs Hardy Nickerson, James Wilder and Batman Woods are in line, too.

Let's agree on this. The Bucs' Ring of Honor isn't the Packers or the Steelers, where almost every member is in the Hall of Fame. The purpose of a Ring of Honor for a team such as the Bucs is a nod to the best players from the past, for the players who made you smile the most.

For that reason alone, I tend to lean toward seeing Gronkowski's name in the Ring of Honor. He didn't last long enough, and he didn't leave enough moments.

But, yeah, I'd vote him in.

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