Buccaneers' Updated Depth Chart After Reported Rob Gronkowski Trade

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistApril 21, 2020

FOXBOROUGH, MASSACHUSETTS - JANUARY 13: Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots and Rob Gronkowski #87 react during the second quarter in the AFC Divisional Playoff Game against the Los Angeles Chargers at Gillette Stadium on January 13, 2019 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)
Adam Glanzman/Getty Images

The offseason continues to produce great results for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who reportedly added one of Tom Brady's favorite targets to their roster on Tuesday. 

According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, the Bucs will acquire Rob Gronkowski and a seventh-round draft pick from the New England Patriots in exchange for a fourth-round draft. NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported Gronkowski has completed a physical, and his agent Drew Rosenhaus told Rapoport the tight end has agreed to play for Tampa.

When the deal becomes official, here is what Tampa Bay's offensive depth chart will look like with Gronkowski in the fold:

Quarterback: Tom Brady, Blaine Gabbert, Ryan Griffin

Running Back: Ronald Jones II, Dare Ogunbowale, T.J. Logan, Aca'cedric Ware

Wide Receiver: Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Justin Watson, Spencer Schnell, Jaydon Mickens, Scott Miller

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Tight End: Rob Gronkowski, O.J. Howard, Cameron Brate, Antony Auclair, Jordan Leggett

Offensive Line: Ryan Jensen, Joe Haeg, Alex Cappa, Ali Marpet, Donovan Smith, Brad Seaton, Zack Bailey, Aaron Stinnie, Anthony Fabiano

There are potential ripple effects from the reported Gronkowski trade that could lead the Buccaneers to make more moves. 

The Athletic's Michael Lombardi reported on the April 15 episode of the GM Shuffle podcast (h/t Dallas Robinson of Pro Football Rumors) that O.J. Howard could be traded before or during the NFL Draft. 

Gronkowski has one year left on his deal with a $9 million base salary, per Spotrac.

Another key question is what the Bucs can expect from Gronkowski after his one-year retirement from the NFL. He has dealt with numerous injuries throughout his career, including missing three games in 2018 because of back issues. 

When Gronkowski did play two years ago, he was productive but not at his peak. The three-time Super Bowl champion had 682 yards and three touchdowns on 47 receptions, his fewest in a season in which he played at least 10 games since he was a rookie in 2010. 

One big advantage Gronkowski has that no other current Bucs player has is a built-in rapport with Brady:      

That will be a huge boost for Tampa Bay's offense, especially if the NFL forces teams to have a limited training camp due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Brady is notorious for needing to trust the players he's throwing the ball, so anything that impacts his ability to work with new teammates could impact how quickly he gels with Chris Godwin and Mike Evans. 

Gronkowski gives Brady a safety net to rely on early in the season as he gets acclimated to what Godwin and Evans are able to do down the field. 

Once Brady builds his rapport with Godwin and Evans, who combined for 2,490 yards last season, the Buccaneers offense could be an unstoppable force in 2020. 

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