Retired quarterback Tom Brady and all-time great tight end Rob Gronkowski both opened up about joining the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after the 2019 NFL season and after they enjoyed plenty of success with the New England Patriots.
“I think, you know, for a long time, as a free agent I got to choose which teammates I wanted to join rather than you’re on a team and the coach is always choosing who joins your locker room,” Brady said during Monday’s edition of the “Let’s Go!” SiriusXM show and podcast about signing with the Buccaneers, per Caleb Skinner of FanNation’s BucsGameday.
“I got a chance to really look around and say, what locker room do I wanna join? And when I chose Tampa, you know, I didn’t know that Robbie G was gonna come out of retirement.”
“Of course, I was hopeful, but there was no certainty about it. He was retired for a year and then I called him and he’s like, ‘Tampa, huh?’ And we went down there and we had so much fun.”
Brady guided the Patriots to 6 Super Bowl titles from 2000 through the 2019 campaign, while Gronkowski earned three Super Bowl rings with New England from 2010 until he retired following the 2018 season. Roughly a month after Brady signed with Tampa Bay, it was learned that the Patriots had agreed to trade Gronkowski’s rights to the Buccaneers.
Together, they helped Tampa Bay defeat the Kansas City Chiefs to win Super Bowl LV in February 2021. Gronkowski confirmed his second retirement in June 2022, while Brady rode off into the sunset this past February.
“I’ll hands down never ever change or wanna change my first nine years in the NFL,” Gronkowski explained during the conversation with Brady.
“Super thankful for being in New England and I wouldn’t change a thing if I had to go back, there’s no doubt about that.” Gronkowski noted that his mom living in Fort Myers along with his love of the Tampa weather helped convince him to end his first retirement to play alongside Brady with the Buccaneers.
“I just feel like it solidified, you know, especially winning a championship, winning a Super Bowl solidified my happiness that I was, what’s the word, like content with my career, happy with my career,” Gronkowski continued.
“Like I don’t have to look back at all like, man, I wish I went to another team, tried it out, saw what it was like.”
It’s widely believed that Brady and Gronkowski nearly joined the Las Vegas Raiders rather than the Buccaneers in the spring of 2020. One can only wonder what could have been for them and the Raiders organization had the future Hall of Famers relocated to Vegas rather than to Florida, but it seems they have no regrets about how they finished their on-the-field partnership.