Tampa Bay Buccaneers' sensational trade to sign three-time Super Bowl winner Rob Gronkowski left Patriots fans scratching their heads. The Buccaneers announced Gronkowski's decision to come out of retirement and instantly made it clear that it was to play for the Buccaneers and not for the New England Patriots. While the trade itself surprised a lot of fans, when and how the Bucs convinced Rob Gronkowski for the move still remains a mystery.
Earlier this week, the 30-year-old dropped some hints about his discussion with Tampa Bay after he admitted he's had the Buccaneers' team playbook for almost four weeks now. On Saturday, Rob Gronkowski appeared on Bud Light Seltzer's Drafterparty and said, "I was in a Tampa Bay Buccaneers playbook four weeks ago, and I wasn’t even on the team.”
While this may seem a pretty standard statement from the Buccaneers' new tight end, it has led to heavy speculation that the Buccaneers may have violated one or more NFL rules by approaching Gronkowski without Patriots' knowledge. If Gronkowski did receive the playbook from any of the Buccaneers officials, it could possibly be classified and the NFL could potentially open an investigation to look into the trade. Did Rob Gronkowski accidentally jeopardise his trade to Tampa Bay?
According to NBC Sport, New England Patriots opted to remain tight-lipped on whether they authorised prior communication between Rob Gronkowski and the Buccaneers. However, even before the latest speculation on Gronkowski's move to the Bucs could get out of hand, the 30-year-old silenced all reports by later acknowledging that he was just joking and that he had just received the Bucs playbook in the mail.
Rob Gronkowski is reportedly contracted to the Buccaneers for the 2020 NFL season during which he is set to earn up to $10 million. A deal which makes Gronkowski the fourth-highest paid tight end in the league will see him line up alongside long-time teammate Tom Brady and two of the best wide receivers in the league in Mike Evans and Chris Godwin. Buccaneers now possess arguably one of the best offences in the league.