After a year off from football, it took Rob Gronkowski a little while to get his footing with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2020. He didn't catch his first touchdown until Week 6 and he didn't have a 100-yard receiving game until Week 12.
In the end, however, Gronkowski proved an invaluable member of the Bucs' Super Bowl team, catching 2 touchdowns in the big game and finishing with the 10th most receiving yards (623) and the seventh most touchdowns (7) by a tight end during the 2020 season.
Now a free agent and intent on playing another season, Gronkowski has an interesting decision to make. Should he take another team-friendly contract as he did in 2020 to stay with good pal Tom Brady and chase another ring? Or should he cash in for what is likely the last opportunity of his playing career and change teams? Because the reality is the Bucs can't pay what Gronk could make elsewhere.
Because we want to have some fun, let's eliminate the Bucs from consideration and focus on the best landing spots for Gronk in free agency outside of Tampa. And no, it's not Tampa Bay. That's not a city.
Jonnu Smith has been outstanding for the Titans, but he's is also a free agent and is expected to command a massive salary coming off a career year. If he leaves, which is expected, the Titans will have a big need at tight end and Gronk is the perfect player to fill it. He's a great blocker, which is obviously important on a run-first team like Tennessee, and provides a security blanket for quarterback Ryan Tannehill. The Titans' window to win a Super Bowl with their current roster is as close to closing as Gronk's time in the NFL. Teaming up would benefit both in that pursuit.
Los Angeles Chargers
There's a possibility Hunter Henry returns to the Chargers. There's also a possibility he doesn't. If it's the latter, Gronk would be a cheaper option who, as crazy as it is to say considering his injury history, is more reliable than Henry. Gronk has ambitions of an acting career post-NFL and already began that path during his one-year NFL hiatus. If he wants to be close to the home of Hollywood, the Chargers are his best bet. Also, while they haven't won much recently, with Justin Herbert now under center and their defense remaining a strength, this team could be poised for a big leap in 2021.
Gronk seems to love Florida. If he doesn't want to leave the state and he wants to get paid, the Jags offer him the best change at both. They have over $70 million in cap space and a need at tight end. The Jags need to give presumptive No. 1 pick Trevor Lawrence as many weapons as they can and have a big hole at tight end. Gronk could help teach Lawrence the ways of Brady and how to succeed at the highest level in the NFL. That experience coupled with his ability could make Gronk and invaluable member to the Jags. Plus they can offer him a lot more than the competition. Why not?
The Bills don't have a ton of cap space, but they do offer Gronk three things that might be of interest: A homecoming (he's from upstate New York), a chance to win a Super Bowl (the Bills made the AFC Championship in 2020) and a chance to stick it to the Patriots twice a year. The Bills also have a hole at tight end, which Gronk could fill. The stars are aligned for this to happen. The question is will the money be right?