How will the Tampa Bay Buccaneers fill the void – on and off the pitch – left by retired Rob Gronkowski? – Blog of Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tampa, Fla. – While Tampa Bay Buccaneers keep hope of ending tight Rob Gronkowski will return in season 2022, future Hall of Famer decided to call it a career again on Tuesday, two years later about to retire join quarterback brave cat.

Gronkowski’s agent, Drew Rosenhaus, told ESPN’s Adam Schefter that he could see Gronk join the Bucs later this season if longtime friend Brady asks. For now, the Bucs will carry on without him, without the “puddles of tears,” as he calls the touchdowns – often accompanied by a mischievous chuckle – and with a void that can’t be filled by one because Gronk did it all.

With the first pick before OJ HowardLeaving in free agency, Bucs has an experience that closes in Cameron Brate, who plays the role of “F” and is mainly a pass catcher. Behind him, there Codey McElroyalso an “F” who’s had a strong springtime, but he’s been playing in a regular game of the season and is learning how to use his 6-foot-6, 258-pound frame as a stopper .

Bucs chose two tight endings in the 2022 NFL draft – Cade Otton in the fourth round of the University of Washington and Ko Kieft in the sixth round of the University of Iowa. Otton has the potential to play the “Y” role as both an inline blocker and pass catcher, but he didn’t participate in the rookie or mandatory minicamp because he was recovering from ankle surgery . Kieft, 6-foot-5 and 265-pound, is a total blocker – and a great player in college – but will be limited as a long-distance runner, because He ran a 4.98-second 40-yard run in his professional day.

The Bucs must get help in position if they hope to maintain Brady’s throw-in trend. In the past two regular seasons, the Bucs have managed to make 306 passes to the close – the fourth most in the league. Their 38 attempts to finish tight in the bottom area over the past two seasons are the most in the NFL.

Eric Ebron, Jimmy Graham, Kyle Rudolph and Jared Cook is one of the freelance agency options Tampa Bay can pursue. The Bucs have $10,596,585 in the salary cap space, according to the Listing Management System. Ebron is 29 years old, Rudolph is 32 years old and Graham and Cook is 35 years old.

Cook played 16 regular-season games last season, amassing 564 yards of receiving, four touchdowns and 31 first knockdowns with Los Angeles charger, but he also has five drops. Rudolph played 15 games and had 257 yards and a touchdown with Giants in New York. Graham got 167 yards in 11 games and scored three touchdowns for Chicago Bears.

Ebron catches 12 passes for Pittsburgh Steelers last season before continue to prepare for injury because of knee problem need surgery. He was medically cleared. In 2020, he has 56 catches with 558 yards of receiving and 5 touchdowns for the Steelers. Graham has made eight touchdowns in 2020, Cook has seven.

None of those players have the chemistry Gronk has with Brady, who will report to training camp in five weeks for what could be his final season after. retire in 40 days early this spring.

As Brady said last year, “A lot of the thing about football is anticipating problems, as opposed to trying to figure out how to solve problems after the game. I think a lot of that is solving the problem before anything happens. Gronk, he knows what I’m thinking, I know what he’s thinking. We did that for a long time together. It’s really nice. It’s a luxury for two players in such a position to have played together for as long as we have. “

The Bucs will miss more than Gronk’s on-field contributions. Not only has he provided experience as a four-time Super Bowl winner, but his style of practice has lifted the moods of those around him, as he figured out how to work hard. just but keep things light and fun, with a knack for identifying teammates or coaches in need of a boost.

Brady said in a post on social media shortly after Tuesday’s news broke, “What’s more important is the person he’s off the field. Focus when he has to be and have fun the rest of the time. There’s Gronk in his dressing room. you are every NFL player’s dream.”

It is made into the community. Among Gronkowski’s more notable efforts are the replacement of $15,000 worth of soccer equipment and a warehouse that was destroyed by arson at Blake High School in Tampa in 2020, his first year. him with the team.

“I don’t think he’s ever had a bad day, to be honest with you,” offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich said last year. “He was always smiling, he was always happy. ‘Old Gronkitis’ – that’s what we call him. Trench inflammation. He’s having fun, man. He’s fun, he loves the game of football, [and] the work he put is real [and] serious. It’s just the way he sees the world, not just the way he sees football. “

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