When Tom Brady decided he wanted to join the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in free agency last offseason, so did his former Patriots sidekick and future fellow Hall of Famer Rob Gronkowski. Gronk already retired once and it’s not out of the question the 31-year-old does again after Super Bowl 55 against the Kansas City Chiefs on Feb. 7. Let’s delve into that and also list some Super Bowl props involving Gronk. For example, he’s a +6000 long shot to win MVP.
Gronkowski originally retired March 2019 after spending his first nine seasons with the Patriots. Gronk was still fairly productive his final 2018 campaign in New England – that Pats team beat the Rams 13-3 in the Super Bowl (Gronk had a huge catch in the game) for Brady’s record sixth ring and Gronkowski’s third – but his body has been completely broken thanks to numerous surgeries.
Gronk even joined the WWE for a while during his retirement but when Brady called in March 2020, he wanted back in the NFL. Alas, Gronkowski still had a year on his contract with the Patriots, so they ended up trading him to Tampa Bay along with a seventh-round pick for the Bucs’ fourth-round pick (No. 139 overall) in the 2020 draft. New England ended up trading that pick to the Raiders, who took Louisiana Tech cornerback Amik Robertson.
This season, Gronkowski played all 16 games for the first time since 2011 and caught 45 passes for 623 yards and seven scores. He hasn’t been a factor in the three playoff game with two total catches on seven targets for 43 yards.
Would the Bucs want Gronkowski back next season? They don’t really need him after already exercising the fifth-year option on tight end and former first-round pick OJ Howard – who suffered a season-ending injury in Week 4. Howard certainly could be traded and might have been this year if not for the injury. Meanwhile, fellow tight end Cameron Brate is under contract through 2023.
That said, if Gronk doesn’t suffer a major injury in Super Bowl 55 and wants to come back and Brady wants that to happen, the Bucs are going to appease TB12 even though Gronkowski isn’t under contract. He definitely will not be making $9 million again next year, though.
“Yeah, you got to,” Gronkowski said last month on the NFL Network of returning in 2021. “I feel like this team was built to win right now. It was put together this year to win right now. It always pops up in your mind, you’re thinking about the future a little bit. I could definitely see this team also having a lot of talent come back and having another successful run next year, as well, with me.”
Brady and Gronkowski are one TD away from setting the all-time playoff record for most passing touchdowns by a QB-pass catcher duo. They sit tied with 49ers legends Joe Montana and Jerry Rice with 12 postseason TDs. Gronkowski has the most receptions by a tight end in Super Bowl history with 23 and most yards by a tight end in the game’s history with 297.
As noted above, Gronkowski is +6000 to win Super Bowl MVP and no tight end has ever won that. He is given Over/Under totals of 2.5 receptions, 27.5 yards and a longest reception of 15.5 yards. Including playoffs, Gronk has had a reception longer than 15.5 yards in 12 games this year. He has topped 2.5 catches seven times and 27.5 yards 12 times.
There’s a yes-only prop of Gronk to score a touchdown – he last did in Week 16 – and the Bucs to win at +650. To score the first points of Super Bowl 55, Gronk is +1700 and he’s +1800 to be the first touchdown scorer. Gronkowski is +250 to be an anytime TD scorer and +1800 to be the game’s final TD scorer. Finally, he’s +4500 to commit the first turnover, but Gronkowski hasn’t lost a fumble all season.