1:48 PM PT — Gronk tells Jay Glazer he has already passed his physical and added, “I’m baaaaackkkkkk!”
1:22 PM PT — Rob Gronkowski is officially coming back to the NFL — reuniting with Tom Brady in Tampa Bay … and the deal should be done in less than 24 hours.
Gronk had been coy about a possible comeback, but he’s made up his mind — and will return to the league for the 2020 season.
The issue — Gronk is still technically a member of the New England Patriots — but the team has been in contact with the TB Bucs and worked out a deal to ship the future Hall of Fame tight end to Florida.
The deal … the Patriots are sending Gronk and a 7th-rounder to Tampa Bay for a 4th-round pick.
Jay Glazer has already spoken with Gronk … who says the deal should be wrapped up by Wednesday … pending the results of a physical.
Gronk had been dealing with back injuries — but recently had been bragging about his recovery … and proved he’s back in playing shape by jumping off the Jumbotron at WrestleMania 36 earlier this month in a high-risk stunt.
Speaking of which, Gronk is the reigning WWE 24/7 Champion — but we’re guessing that won’t get in the way of an NFL contract.
We’re guessing it’s Tom Brady who pushed for the trade … the guys have become super-tight friends over their 9 seasons together in NE … where they won 3 Super Bowls.
Tampa Bay is quickly becoming the TB Patriots … all they need now is Julian Edelman.
12:48 PM PT — IT MIGHT ACTUALLY BE HAPPENING!!!
Gronk has informed the New England Patriots he’s interested in making a return to football with the intention of seeking a trade to play with Tom Brady in Tampa Bay, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reports.
“The #Patriots and #Bucs have had some communication, from what I’m told,” Rapoport added.
Of course, Gronk and TB12 played together for YEARS in New England … and became one of the greatest QB-receiver duos EVER.
And, with the Bucs shopping their current starting tight end O.J. Howard … there would be room for Gronk if a trade went through.
It would also make sense for Gronk personally … as we’ve previously reported, he’s owned property in Florida in the past — and has spent time in the Tampa area recently for his WWE gig.
Just call Rob Gronkowski the pancake man … ’cause he’s flipping AGAIN on retirement talk — this time saying he’s “not totally done” with football after all!!!
The NFL’s greatest-ever tight end has been in a tug-o-war almost since the day he quit the NFL in 2019 … going back and forth on whether or not he’s officially done.
The latest? Gronk told Andy Cohen this week on “Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen” that a reunion with Tom Brady in Tampa Bay ain’t totally out of the question.
“I’m feeling good right now,” the Patriots legend said. “I’m happy where I’m at. You just never know, man. You just never know. You never know. I’m not totally done.”
Gronk says the only thing that’s holding him back is a passion for the game … adding, “I like to stay in shape, but I’ve gotta get that feeling back.”
Rob retired in March 2019 … and has said injuries — including roughly 20 concussions — played a big role in him calling it a career at the age of 29.
The rumors of a return haven’t stopped, though … with Gronk playing a big role in the whispers — flipping publicly between “I’m done” and “You never know” often.
As for those close to him … TMZ Sports spoke with Gronk’s brother, Chris, just a few weeks ago, and he said he’d be surprised to see the tight end come back.
Originally published — 7:23 AM PT