Buccaneers' Rob Gronkowski explains why Tom Brady wasn't the top reason he returned to the NFL
Someone else had a bigger hand in Gronk joining the Bucs
Rob Gronkowski loves Tom Brady. That's not exactly breaking news, considering what the two accomplished together in their time with the New England Patriots. But that love has been perceived by many as powerful enough to have the former climb out of retirement to join the latter with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and that apparently is not the case — in totality. There can be no denying Brady had influence on Gronkowski taking his talents to Central Florida for 2020, and the two readily admit it.
The six-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback was key in nudging head coach Bruce Arians and general manager Jason Licht into striking a deal with the Patriots to land the rights to the future Hall of Fame tight end, but it would've been all for naught if not for one person in particular that has nothing to do with the sport itself.
In a recent interview on "The Ellen Show," he spilled the beans on who the Buccaneers can truly thank.
"You know, everyone keeps asking me, 'Did Tom (Brady) get you to Tampa?' Well, of course it didn't hurt that Tom went to Tampa, you know, and the opportunity to go to Tampa was there too," he said. "But you know, Tom was like the appetizer, and then there's a few other reasons. I love the weather, but the main course, the main reason why I came down to Tampa to play is because my mother live two hours away.
"She can get to all the games, all eight of our home games. Whenever I have days off, she's two hours down the street and I get to see her. So she's super excited."
And there you have it — it was Gronkowski's mother who helped move the ground beneath the NFL this offseason.
In doing so, she has the chance to see what could be a prolific offense that features her son as Brady's primary target, as the two undoubtedly get back to the business of scoring touchdowns at a high rate. The addition of Gronkowski — along with a seventh-round pick from the Patriots — in exchange for only a fourth-rounder in 2020 was a coup for Tampa Bay, and the four-time All-Pro joins an offense that also includes Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Cameron Brate and O.J. Howard and a more-than-capable running back in Ronald Jones II.
That's a lot of firepower for the Bucs, and it's likely they'll put on a show for Mama Gronk.