Brady certainly played a role, but so did Gronk's mother, Diane Walters. The 31-year-old tight end explained during the Friday episode of The Ellen DeGeneres Show that he is quarantining with Walters in Fort Myers, Florida, where she has lived for 10 years (1:33 mark):
"Everyone keeps asking me, did Tom get you to Tampa? Well, of course it didn't hurt that Tom went to Tampa, you know, and the opportunity to go to Tampa was there too. But Tom was like the appetizer, and then there's a few other reasons. I love the weather.
"But the main course, the main reason why I came down to Tampa to play is because my mother lives two hours away. She can get to all my games, all eight of our home games. Whenever I have days off, she's two hours down the street and I get to see her."
Gronkowski was selected by the New England Patriots in the second round of the 2010 NFL draft. The four-time All-Pro won three Super Bowl titles alongside Brady (2014, '16, '18) before announcing his retirement in March 2019.
The Patriots traded Gronkowski to Tampa in late April:
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.
And Brady, who signed a two-year deal with the Bucs during free agency in March, is ready to "run it back" for his seventh championship and fourth with Gronk:
Gronkowski has caught more touchdowns from Brady (78) than any other receiver in the 42-year-old future Hall of Fame quarterback's 20-year career. Overall, Gronkowski has recorded 7,861 yards and 79 touchdowns on 521 catches.