Bucs' Rob Gronkowski Says He's '4 More Protein Shakes' from NFL Playing Weight

Megan ArmstrongSenior Analyst IIMay 20, 2020

MIAMI, FLORIDA - FEBRUARY 01: Rob Gronkowski is seen on stage during
Joe Scarnici/Getty Images

Rob Gronkowski last played in the NFL during Super Bowl LIII on Feb. 3, 2019, but the 31-year-old is "basically four more protein shakes away" from being back in playing shape: 

CBS Sports HQ @CBSSportsHQ

Is that @RobGronkowski flexing on @Hassel_Chris? That is correct. "I'm basically 4 more protein shakes away from being at my playing weight." Gronk talks getting back into football shape 👇 https://t.co/Q1fCZttA4D

After helping the New England Patriots defeat the Los Angeles Rams 13-3 in that game with six catches for 87 yards, Gronkowski announced his retirement on March 24, 2019:

Mike Garafolo @MikeGarafolo

Rob Gronkowski has retired. Announced it on Instagram just now. https://t.co/5fUqqIcAgd

The four-time All-Pro decided to come out of retirement in late April to reunite with Tom Brady, who departed New England after 20 Hall of Fame-caliber seasons for a two-year contract with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers:

Jeff Darlington @JeffDarlington

Gronk reuniting with Brady — wherever Brady ended — always felt like a real scenario behind the scenes. I can’t understate the appreciation, on and off the field, they have for each other. Gronk was done with the Patriots… but he never wanted to be done catching TDs from Brady.

Adam Schefter @AdamSchefter

Trade, pending physical: Patriots are trading TE Rob Gronkowski and a seventh-round pick to the Buccaneers for a fourth-round pick, source tells ESPN.

Jay Glazer @JayGlazer

Gronk has now passed his physical. Trade is for him and 7th for Bucs fourth-round selection.

Brady captured three of his record six Super Bowl rings with Gronkowski, and the two fueled excitement about their reunion shortly after the trade was announced:

Tom Brady @TomBrady

Time to run it back @RobGronkowski! https://t.co/d4wmZLUV9n


Gronkowski recorded 7,861 yards and 79 touchdowns on 521 receptions across 115 games in New England.

ESPN Stats & Info @ESPNStatsInfo

Tom Brady has thrown 176 TD passes to tight ends in his career, 30 more than any other QB (h/t @EliasSports). 78 of those have gone to Rob Gronkowski. The only QB-TE combo to connect for more TDs is Philip Rivers and Antonio Gates (89). https://t.co/UxNOlEVm38

ESPN Stats & Info @ESPNStatsInfo

Rob Gronkowski has caught 78 career touchdowns from Tom Brady, twice as many as any other player. Their 78 TDs are also the 5th-most by any QB-receiver combo in NFL history. https://t.co/iYJE56wrFK

Brady will have a familiar face added to an already explosive receiving corps featuring Mike Evans and Chris Godwin:

ESPN Stats & Info @ESPNStatsInfo

No team's top 2 receivers combined for more yards last season than Chris Godwin and Mike Evans (2,490). Now the @Buccaneers have added Rob Gronkowski to go with them. https://t.co/R09zr8mJP3

According to Rick Stroud and Joey Knight of the Tampa Bay Times, Brady worked out with Evans as well as tight ends O.J. Howard and Cameron Brate at Berkeley Preparatory School on Tuesday. The 42-year-old's "arm looked live."

The Buccaneers will hope Brady's arm can hold up throughout an entire season—Gronkowski's chronically injured back, too—in order to make the playoffs for the first time since 2007.