NFL News and Notes: Gronk joins Brady in Tampa Bay

Over the weekend, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers declined interest in a veteran offensive talent via trade but then went out and pulled off a different one on Tuesday. The Buccaneers traded a fourth-round pick (139 overall) in this year’s draft to New England. Tampa Bay receives the future Hall of Fame tight end as well as a seventh-round selection in return.

The move shouldn’t come as a shock as people have been talking about this since Brady officially joined Tampa Bay earlier in the spring. Gronkowski has 78 touchdowns in his time playing with Brady, double the next highest player total, which is Randy Moss with 39.

The move is also classic Bill Belichick. Gronk’s rights were still owned by the Patriots though it is quite clear at this point that the big tight end had no interest in playing for Belichick again. The tension between Gronkowski and Belichick apparently began when the latter tried to trade the tight end to Detroit in April of 2018.

Gronkowski said that if the deal went through, he would then retire. It is quite clear that Gronkowski is only interested in catching passes thrown by Brady.

Early speculation suggested that the Bucs would send talented tight end O.J. Howard to New England in return; instead, head coach Bruce Arians boasts possibly the most talented stable of receivers and tight ends in the entire NFL. Gronk is going to need to gain a little weight, but in recent interviews, he has stated that this is the healthiest he has felt in a long time and is even the current “24/7” titleholder in the wrestling promotion WWE.

Harvin to return to the NFL?

Former Buffalo Bills and Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Percy Harvin told ESPN’s Josina Anderson that he is ready for a return to the NFL. The 32-year-old receiver has not played since 2016. The receiver is quoted as saying that “the itch came back” to play football again.

Harvin was a first-round selection in the 2009 NFL Draft, taken 22nd overall by the Vikings. He was an absolute star at the University of Florida as a dual-threat offensive weapon. In 2007, he logged 764 yards rushing and 858 yards receiving. In 2008, he was third in the SEC with 17 total touchdowns.

Harvin’s professional career has been hampered by injuries, having played double-digit games only four times in his eight seasons. In 2011, when he managed to appear in all 16 games, he logged 121 targets, 87 receptions, 967 yards, and six touchdowns along with 52 rushes for 345 yards and two more scores.

If Harvin still has the speed that once made him a star, he could be an asset to an NFL team at the right price. At the NFL combine prior to his draft, Harvin ran a 4.39 40 and was rated as an “A” prospect. However, at 32 years old, with a long history of injuries, it will be interesting to see which teams reach out.

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