Current free agent Rob Gronkowski has yet to decide if he will return to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers next season to chase another Super Bowl title.
Gronkowski was a recent guest on The Jimmy Kimmel Show, where he spoke about various topics related to the Buccaneers, such as Tom Brady's return to the league. He also spoke about his time with the New England Patriots and how the organization did not make it a priority to help players receive individual incentives.
"Yes. I've seen that before actually, not with the Patriots. So I mean, they'll probably pull you before you hit that bonus there. I shouldn't have said that. You're welcome."
Last season, the Buccaneers played against the Carolina Panthers in the regular season finale. During that game, Tom Brady refused to exit the game until his future Hall of Fame tight end caught his 55th reception (he was at 54 at the time) to get a $500,000 bonus.
Here's what Gronkowski had to say about reaching the incentive after the game:
“It was really nice to get it. Hitting incentives is cool. The Buccaneers are a great organization, putting me in a position where I can hit those incentives, which is awesome. I love playing here. I love playing for this organization. It’s cool to hit those. I’m going to have to bring out all the tight ends to dinner. A couple of the quarterbacks — I don’t bring Tom out, I’ll bring the backups out to dinner.”
The Buccaneers are hoping that the good feelings and comraderie between themselves and Gronkowski will help him decide to return to the team for next season.
How far can the Tampa Bay Buccaneers go next season if Rob Gronkowski does not return?
Rob Gronkowski missed a significant amount of time last season due to a severe rib injury. If Gronkowski does not return, it would most certainly be detriment to a team that utilizes his unique skill set in between the numbers. The Buccaneers, however, have done a great job of acquiring the requisite offensive weapons (even before Tom Brady arrived).
The receivers on the team are Pro Bowlers Mike Evans and Chris Godwin, who was resigned to a three-year, $60 million contract extension.
The team also signed Russell Gage from the Atlanta Falcons to take over the slot receiver duties left vacant by former Buccaneers receiver Antonio Brown. Speedster Scotty Miller gives the team even more depth at the position.
Starting running back Leonard Fournette was also resigned to a three-year, $21 million extension, so the band is back together...they are just waiting for Gronkowski to join the group to make a run next season at another Lombardi Trophy.