Tight end Rob Gronkowski, who is currently retired from the New England Patriots, has agreed to return to the NFL as a member of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as part of a trade, according to the Buccaneers and Gronkowski's agent. He will once again play with quarterback Tom Brady, who recently signed with Tampa Bay.
"Rob Gronkowski is one of the best tight ends in NFL history and he plays the game with the type of passion and desire that sets him apart," Buccaneers general manager Jason Licht said. "Rob has played his entire career alongside Tom Brady and their accomplishments speak for themselves."
The Buccaneers sent a fourth-round selection (No.139 overall) in the 2020 NFL Draft in exchange for Gronkowski and a 2020 seventh-round pick (No. 241 overall).
"Pending the physical, Rob has agreed to play for Tampa this season," agent Drew Rosenhaus told CNN. "He will honor his current contract at this time."
Gronkowski has one year left on his current contract, which is worth $10 million.
New England has not responded to CNN's inquiry.
The trade would reunite Gronkowski with Brady, who signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as a free agent on March 20 after 20 seasons with New England. Gronkowski played nine seasons for the Patriots alongside Brady.
The duo were teammates on three Super Bowl champion teams in the 2014, 2016, and 2018 seasons, though Gronkowski missed the 2016 Super Bowl due to injury.
Speaking on ESPN's SportsCenter Tuesday night, Rosenhaus said the discussions began shortly after Brady went to Tampa. Gronkowski and the agent agreed it would be an appealing situation.
"He loves new England. He loves the Patriots organization, Coach (Bill) Belichick, the Krafts, his teammates that are still there. He had an amazing run in New England. It was just time for him to continue his career with Tom Brady in Florida with Tampa," said Rosenhaus. "It was something cool and exciting and challenging for him. He's well rested and looking forward to playing with Tom again."
Gronkowski last played during the 2018 NFL season, where he finished with 682 receiving yards and three touchdowns across 13 regular season games.
His final game as a member of the Patriots was in Super Bowl LIII where the New England Patriots defeated the Los Angeles Rams 13-3.
Brady and Gronkowski "developed the type of chemistry on and off the field that is crucial to success," said Licht, the Tampa Bay general manager. "Rob combines elite-level skills as both a receiver and blocker but what really makes him special is the fact that he's a proven winner who brings that championship mindset and work ethic."