Rob Gronkowski is being traded to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in a move that instantly sets the franchise up to make a Super Bowl run in 2020.
The terms: According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the New England Patriots landed a fourth-round pick in exchange for Gronk and a seventh-round pick.
The big picture: This move set the NFL world ablaze. The reality that Tom Brady will once again have his most trusted weapon — this time in Tampa Bay — means the Bucs have a chance to seriously challenge for a title this coming season.
- The big “if” here is that all this hinges on whether Gronkowski can stay healthy for a full season, including the playoffs.
- That’s something he has struggled to do in the past, which had everything to do with the All-Pro tight end retiring in the first place.
But, if Gronk can stay healthy, he and the Buccaneers will be a huge problem for the rest of the league this coming season.
What an arsenal: Tom Brady already was walking into a situation in which he got a huge upgrade in offensive talent when he initially signed with the Bucs. Now, with Gronk in the mix, Tampa Bay has arguably the most potent group of receivers in the NFL today.
- Mike Evans: One of the best big-play receivers in the NFL today, Evans has hauled in 462 passes for 7,260 yards — eclipsing 1,000 yards every year — with 48 touchdowns in his first six seasons as a pro.
- Chris Godwin: A rising star who excelled in his first season playing for Bruce Arians, Godwin caught 86 passes for 1,333 yards and nine touchdowns last year.
- Scott Miller: Talk about a perfect situation. Already pegged as a slot specialist, this young receiver can become Brady’s next slot god if he can stay healthy as a second-year pro in 2020.
- Cameron Brate: A tight end who has a penchant for scoring touchdowns, Brate has a chance to have a monster season.
- Rob Gronkowski: One of the best tight ends in NFL history, Gronkowski has hauled in 79 touchdowns in his vaunted career and is a matchup nightmare in both the run and passing games.
- Ronald Jones II: This USC product had a big bounceback campaign in 2019 after a disappointing rookie season. He’s excellent as a receiver out of the backfield and totaled 1,033 yards and six touchdowns from scrimmage.
It’s widely assumed that O.J. Howard will be traded, and with Gronk in the mix that’s a guarantee at this point. Regardless, what the Buccaneers have now as an arsenal for the greatest quarterback of all time is nothing short of awe-inspiring.
The bottom line: Sure, the Buccaneers play in a tough division and have to shore up their defense. But this offensive lineup is better than anything Brady has ever played with.
With Bruce Arians and up-and-coming coordinator Byron Leftwich calling the shots, it’s hard not to imagine the Buccaneers will put up points like crazy in 2020.
With Gronkowski playing alongside Brady once more this season, the Bucs have the firepower to go all the way. It’s Super Bowl or bust in Tampa Bay, and that’s a fact.