Let’s call it Wednesday

Posted: April 22, 2020 by Sports Time Radio in football, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

With the NFL Draft just a day away there was a little focus taken off of the draft as there was a surprising trade made yesterday.

As we all know the big off season NFL story was Tom Brady leaving the New England Patriots to join the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as a free agent. In New England Brady’s favorite target was tight end Rob Gronkowski and yesterday the Buccaneers reunited the two.

Now it is true that Gronkowski announced his retirement last year and didn’t play, but apparently he was interested in joining Brady in Tampa Bay and the Buccaneers got the trade done. Tampa Bay sent a 4th round pick #139 overall to the Patriots for Gronkowski and a 7th round pick #241 overall.

Gronkowski turns 31 years old next month and he has one year remaining on his contract at $9 million dollars.

Gronkowski is represented by  Drew Rosenhaus and he said on ESPN Sportscenter that the five-time Pro Bowler has been “really invigorated” physically since he retired from football nearly 13 months ago. Rosenhaus also added that “He tells me he feels fantastic, the best he’s ever felt”. “His weight’s back up to 260. He passed his physical with flying colors today. He’s just really excited about playing football again, and being in Florida is exciting for him.”

Gronkowski himself reached out to Fox Sports in a text message saying.  “I’m back. I always said when I have that feeling and it feels right, I will be ready to take the field again. And I have that feeling. I’m ready.”

When talk of Gronkowski’s return came up it quickly became clear that the only way he’d end his retirement was if he could play with Brady again in Tampa Bay. There where also reports that Gronkowski reached out to Brady himself about joining hi former quarterback in Tampa Bay.

Gronkowski joins a pretty impressive group of receivers in Tampa Bay. Mike Evans and Chris Godwin are Pro Bowlers while tight end O.J. Howard is a former 1st round draft pick and Cameron Brate has been very solid at tight end for the Buccaneers.

Obviously a healthy Gronkowski takes over as the starting tight end n the Buccaneers offense and it will be interesting to see wat kind of affect Gronkowski’s presence has on the Tampa Bay offense. Godwin led the Buccaneers with 121 targets and 86 receptions while Evans was targeted 118 times. Brate and Howard had 55 and 53 targets respectively.  Gronkowski had a career high 131 targets in 2014 and in his last season 2018 he had 72 targets while playing in 13 games.

This may be the most talented group of receivers Brady has every been surrounded by in his career, but there’s only one football to be thrown around. Will there be enough targets in this offense to keep all of these receivers happy?

Don’t forget that Jameis Winston tied with Jared Goff for the NFL lead in passing attempts last season with 626. He also led in passing yards with 5109. You’d have to think with the receivers on the Buccaneers roster that Brady will throw the football at least as much as Winston did last season and possibly more than he did last season.

It’s clear that the biggest question facing the Tampa Bay offense is will they be able to run the football well enough to keep defensives from just pinning their ears back and coming after Brady with everything they’ve got.

Ronald Jones was the Buccaneers leading rusher last season with 724 yards on 172 carries. Jones added 6 rushing touchdowns last season and if he can continue his 4.2 yards per carry average from last season it might be enough to keep defenses honest.

Is it possible that the Buccaneers are looking to make another trade? They do have three NFL tight ends on their roster; so it’s possible that either Howard or Brate could be traded for a draft pick.

Howard was the 19th overall pick in the 2017 draft and I don’t think he’s reached the level the buccaneers thought he would when they picked him. He’s never played in more than 14 games in a season due to injuries and he’s never had more than 34 receptions in a season. Now those reception numbers where expected to go up once Brady signed with Tampa Bay, but now that Gronkowski has joined the team is it possible that Howard could be traded?

Brate has always been looked at as a second tight end on a roster and maybe that plays to his advantage as he finds ways to produce. Brate has 27 career touchdown receptions with a career high of 8 coming in 2016. Brate has also stayed healthy as he’s played in all, but one game the past our seasons.

If the Buccaneers are looking to trade one of these tight ends you’d have to think that Howard would have the most value on the trade market. Howard will be 26 next season while Brate will be 29. It’s possible a team could look at Howard and think they could get the potential out of him that he hadn’t shown in Tampa Bay while Brate has kind of shown what he’s got.

So what do you think the Buccaneers will do with their tight end position? Will all three Gronkowski, Howard and Brate be on the roster when the season starts? Or will one of them be traded? If you think one of them will be traded; which one o you think will be dealt?

Are you looking forward to the NFL Draft? Since I haven’t watched a sporting event in what seems like forever I’m very much looking forward to the draft. I’m not sure what that says about me, but I’ll be tuned in. This may be the year that I end up watching every draft pick.

Round 1 of the NFL Draft starts at 7:00 p.m. cst and for me it’s on ESPN. I’m sure that the NFL Network is also covering the draft live, but thanks to AT&T I no longer get the NFL Network. On Friday Rounds 2 & 3 start at 6:00 p.m. cst. On Saturday the draft starts at 11:00 a.m. cst as they go through rounds 4 thru 7.

Don’t forget to checkout the Sports Time Radio podcast on BlogTalkRadio.com. The podcast is also available at TuneIn.com any time you want to listen to it.

You can also find me on Twitter @Burketime

Comments
  1. This was a surprising decision by Gronkowski. I guess he wants to play with his “bro” again. Tampa will have an interesting team next year if their run offense can improve. I’m sure they’ll one of their tight ends but I don’t have a clue as to who it will be. Maybe Howard.

    Liked by 1 person

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