Rob Gronkowski: I want to dip my toes into free agency to see what’s out there

Rob Gronkowski: I want to dip my toes into free agency to see what’s out there

Rob Gronkowski is widely expected to remain with the Buccaneers and quarterback Tom Brady for the 2021 season.

Even he expects that, saying so during an appearance on the 10 Questions with Kyle Brandt podcast. But because Gronkowski has never been a free agent like he is now, there’s a part of him that wants to feel what it’s like to be sought after.

“I definitely want to be back with the Buccaneers. That’s where my eyesight is. That’s where I’m leaning toward, big time,” Gronkowski said. “But with the free agency process, you just never know what may happen. There’s some other teams interested out there, too. I’ve also never been a part of the free agency process, so I actually want to dip my toes in, just to see what’s out there.”

Gronkowski, who turns 32 in May, retired and didn’t play the 2019 season. As he heads into this negotiation period, Gronkowksi said he’ll likely be signing only one-year deals from now on.

“It’s pretty rare to see someone to ever even finish a contract in the NFL, so that was pretty special there,” Gronkowski said. “But I’ve never been a free agent before, but I’m planning on being a free agent after every season. I feel like I’m a one-year deal guy for the rest of my career — even if I play 10 more years. I’m going to be a one-year deal guy, a free agent every year, and just control my destiny every year.”

Gronkowski was a key cog in the Buccaneers’ offense in 2020, starting all 16 regular-season games for the first time since 2011. He caught 45 passes for 623 yards with seven touchdowns. In the postseason, he made eight receptions for 110 yards with two TDs — both scores coming in Super Bowl LV.