Rob Gronkowski’s return to football wasn’t much of a surprise after just a little over a year in “retirement” and, according to his agent Drew Rosenhaus, he wanted to make sure he came back the right way.
News of a trade between the New England Patriots and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers involving the 30-year-old tight end broke late Tuesday night. The Bucs later confirmed that they traded a fourth-round pick in the upcoming NFL Draft to the Patriots in exchange for Gronkowski and a seventh-round pick, reuniting him with former teammate Tom Brady.
ROB GRONKOWSKI MAY HAVE HINTED HE WAS PLANNING RETURN, EX-TEAMMATE SAYS
While some are calling the trade a steal, the Patriots benefited in a big way with the way things played out.
“Rob is a very classy guy with the way he handled this,” Gronkowski’s agent Rosenhaus said on ESPN’s “SportsCenter” on Tuesday. “Rob could have come out of retirement, become reinstated, and put the Patriots in a tough situation cap-wise, but he decided not to do that. He decided to be patient and really allow this to work out.”
Gronkowski announced his retirement from the Patriots after the 2019 season with one year left on his contract worth $10 million. If he was reinstated on the team, he could’ve put owner Robert Kraft in a difficult situation regarding cap space just days before the draft.
ROB GRONKOWSKI ONLY WANTED TO PLAY WITH TOM BRADY AGAIN, AGENT SUGGESTS
“He loves New England,” Rosenhaus continued. “He loves the Patriots organization, Coach Belichick, the Krafts, his teammates that are still there. He had an amazing run in New England. It was just time for him to continue his career with Tom Brady in Florida with Tampa. It was something cool and exciting and challenging for him.”
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Rosenhaus said Gronkowski was interested in returning to the league shortly after Brady announced that he would be signing with the Buccaneers after 20 seasons and six Super Bowl wins in New England.