What Are The Chances Gronk Returns?

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Pewter Report’s Scott Reynolds solutions your questions from the @PewterReport Twitter account every week within the Bucs Monday Mailbag. Submit your query to the Bucs Monday Mailbag every week by way of Twitter utilizing the hashtag #PRMailbag. Listed here are the questions we selected to reply for this week’s version.

QUESTION: The longer the Bucs go with out signing a good finish, the extra doubtless it appears Rob Gronkowski comes again earlier than the season begins. At what level do you suppose the workforce indicators somebody or Gronk comes again?

ANSWER: I agree together with your premise. If the Bucs don’t signal a veteran tight finish earlier than the beginning of coaching camp, that very properly might be an indication that Rob Gronkowski might be returning sooner or later throughout the 2022 season. I feel there are three attainable time frames for Gronkowski’s return.

Bucs TE Rob Gronkowski

Bucs TE Rob Gronkowski – Photograph by: USA As we speak

The primary is true earlier than the beginning of camp. The premise can be that he was “pulling a Tom Brady” and retiring after which un-retiring 41 days later in a sensible joke vogue. The second, and extra logical state of affairs, is that Gronkowski skips the trials of Bucs coaching camp and indicators proper earlier than the beginning of the season. NFL groups have every week off in between the final preseason recreation and the beginning of the season. Gronkowski might use that point to get again into soccer form and follow.

The third timetable might be signing at midseason. Gronkowski watched the Bucs signal Antonio Brown in November of 2020 and he helped Tampa Bay win Tremendous Bowl LV. The 33-year previous tight finish is perhaps listening to his physique and realizing that it might not have the ability to maintain up for 17 video games any extra.

It wouldn’t be shocking if the Bucs didn’t signal one other veteran tight finish earlier than camp begins. Including one other tight finish would solely take away precious developmental reps for rookies Cade Otton and Ko Kieft. If the rookies don’t progress and Gronk stays retired, then Tampa Bay can add a veteran. Bucs normal supervisor Jason Licht has added key roster items the week earlier than the season begins earlier than. He acquired edge rushers Jacquies Smith (2014) and Carl Nassib (2018) off waivers and signed operating again Leonard Fournette in 2020.

QUESTION: With Rob Gronkowski retired do you suppose Todd Bowles could have a look at D-line in free company or cornerback and deal with the defensive facet of the ball?

ANSWER: I feel these two points are impartial of one another. How the Bucs tackle the tight finish place has nothing to do with their plans on the defensive facet of the ball. Whether or not it’s signing a veteran like Jimmy Graham, Kyle Rudolph, Jared Cook dinner or Blake Jarwin, or ready for Rob Gronkowski’s attainable return, Tampa Bay will doubtless add one other tight finish.

That has no affect on what the workforce does defensively. Similar to how the Bucs could wish to get an prolonged look in camp on the workforce’s younger tight ends, Tampa Bay could do the identical factor at outdoors linebacker. Todd Bowles may find yourself wanting one other veteran edge rusher, however including one in camp would solely take away from the developmental reps of Cam Gill, Elijah Ponder and seventh-round decide Andre Anthony. Signing a veteran after camp, or within the latter levels of camp, makes extra sense.

The addition of veterans Akiem Hicks and Deadrin Senat and the drafting of Logan Corridor doubtless means the defensive position place is ready. Tampa Bay already has Professional Bowler Vita Vea, Will Gholston and Rakeem Nunez-Roches on the workforce, along with Pat O’Connor. The ultimate roster spot will doubtless come all the way down to Senat or O’Connor.

The cornerback place appears stacked this yr, too. Tampa Bay added Logan Ryan, who can play security and nickel cornerback, and likewise drafted Zyon McCollum on Day 3. So, cornerback and defensive position appear to be properly stocked proper now. However control the skin linebacker place, and clearly the tight finish spot, too.

QUESTION: Which vast receiver do you suppose will step as much as fill Chris Godwin’s spot if misses time at first of the season?

ANSWER: Russell Gage is the receiver that must step up if the Bucs didn’t have Chris Godwin at first of the season. One of many the explanation why the Bucs signed Gage to a three-year deal value $10 million per season is that he may play within the slot in addition to outdoors. If Godwin is able to go, he’ll play within the slot and Gage would be the flanker (Z receiver). That’s the place Antonio Brown performed final yr.

Bucs WR Russell Gage

Bucs WR Russell Gage – Photograph by: Cliff Welch/PR

But when Godwin’s restoration is slower than the workforce hopes it will likely be, Gage can be referred to as upon to play extra within the slot. Then, the main target shifts to whoever wins the No. 4 receiver spot on the depth chart, as that participant would transfer as much as the No. 3 place. Breshad Perriman and Cyril Grayson Jr. would doubtless be the early front-runners as each are quick and have expertise.

Perriman gained final yr’s time beyond regulation recreation in opposition to Buffalo with a catch-and-run, walk-off landing. Grayson gained the Jets recreation along with his heroic, last-second landing after Brown stormed off the sector.

Tyler Johnson is extra of an even bigger slot receiver, however he has some expertise taking part in flanker. He had hassle separating in protection final yr, so he’ll must play sooner in camp and the preseason if he’s going to make the roster. Veteran Scotty Miller is in a contract yr, however he’s largely a break up finish (X receiver). That’s the place Mike Evans performs, and the long run Corridor of Famer not often comes off the sector.

QUESTION: What are the largest questions heading in to coaching camp?

ANSWER: I’ll be addressing the largest questions because the Bucs begin coaching camp in a couple of version of my SR’s Fab 5 column. However for a sneak preview, I feel essentially the most intriguing camp battles will likely be at left guard and at vast receiver.

The left guard spot, vacated by Ali Marpet’s retirement, will likely be a battle royale in coaching camp. Veteran Aaron Stinnie is the present favourite, however the Bucs drafted Luke Goedeke within the second spherical. Backup heart Robert Hainsey, final yr’s third-round decide, can be within the combine. Nick Leverett might also get a glance there. The inside of Tampa Bay’s offensive line is loaded with younger expertise.

At vast receiver, Mike Evans, Chris Godwin and Russell Gage are the apparent locks to make the workforce. That leaves 10 different receivers battling for 3 – possibly 4 – spots on the depth chart. Veterans like Breshad Perriman, Scotty Miller, Tyler Johnson and Cyril Grayson Jr. will likely be competing in opposition to a number of newcomers, together with Deven Thompkins and Jerreth Sterns, amongst others. The vast receiver place will likely be actually enjoyable to look at in camp and throughout the preseason.

QUESTION: Do you are feeling {that a} journey to Germany might show a distraction? (And can you be attending?)

Bucs QB Tom Brady

Bucs QB Tom Brady – Photograph by: USA As we speak

ANSWER: It’s attainable that the worldwide journey to Germany in November might be a distraction for the Bucs, particularly with the bye the week after. However this can be a veteran-laden Tampa Bay workforce and I don’t suppose the gamers will get distracted. The sport takes place in early November, so the Bucs must be eyeing playoff positioning by then and may’t afford to lose to a lesser NFC workforce.

It’s fascinating to notice that the Bucs haven’t gained a global recreation. They’re 0-3 in London. Maybe taking part in in Germany will change the Bucs’ fortunes. In fact, having Tom Brady at quarterback will assist, too. Brady has by no means misplaced a global recreation. He’s 3-0 in video games in London (twice) and Mexico again when performed in New England, so one thing has to present.

I hope to make the journey to Munich, as I loved the London journey again in 2019. I really like worldwide beer, and clearly Germany is known for beer. So, that’s one more reason I is perhaps attending – aside from to report on the Buccaneers, after all!

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