Rob Gronkowski #87 of the New England Patriots looks on against the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium on December 9, 2018 in Miami, Florida.
Michael Reaves | Getty Images Sport | Getty Images
When he steps back on the football field, Rob Gronkowski will be wearing a different uniform.
According to CBSSports, the New England Patriots traded the tight end to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in a move that will reunite Gronkowski with longtime quarterback Tom Brady.
As part of transaction, the Patriots will receive a fourth-round pick, according to reports. The deal is reportedly pending Gronkowski’s physical exam.
But, following early reports of the trade, Fox Sports’ Jay Glazer tweeted that Gronkowski already took his physical and was coming out of retirement.
Gronkowski left the National Football League after the 2018 season but, according to a league source, he never filed for “severance pay” with the National Football League Players Association. That means the union never officially considered him retired. The NFL has a policy that states a player is considered retired if they’ve been away from the league for a full year.
In an episode of HBO’s “The Shop,” which is produced by Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James, Gronkowski said he decided to step away from the NFL to focus on his health, adding his party lifestyle did not mix well with football.
Speaking with CNBC in February at Super Bowl LIV in Miami, however, Gronkowski, said he was “feeling good” after post-retirement surgeries.
Gronkowski earned a total of $53.4 million from his NFL contracts, according to Spotrac. He retired before the final season of the six-year, $54 million deal he signed with the Patriots in 2012.