PONTIFICATING FROM THE SUNSHINE STATE – APRIL 22
By Leo Haggerty

BUCS GAMBLING ON GRONK

First of all, and I will start EVERY article with this paragraph, sports pales in comparison with what is occurring with the Coronavirus. Hopefully, the columns that I, and the rest of our correspondents, provide you is a momentary escape from the trials and tribulations that Americans, and the rest of the world’s population, are experiencing. The COVID-19 is not a video game that you can press reset and get a new life. This is real and dangerous so, above all, be prudent and stay safe.

The Buccaneers traded a fourth round selection in the 2020 National Football League draft to the Patriots for a 2020 seventh round pick and the rights to Tight End Rob Gronkowski.  It will be a reunion with former Pats QB Tom Brady in Tampa Bay but that leads to this underlying question.  Is it a good decision Bucs?

For my answer to the above question, I’m going to quote Gene Hackman who, in the movie Enemy Of The State, said to Will Smith, “You’re either incredibly smart or incredibly stupid.” Sadly, I think the Pewter Pirates fall in the latter category for three reasons.

First, and foremost, it’s even money as to whether the former University of Arizona product can even pass the physical.  We saw how beat up #87 was when he hung it up after the 2018 campaign.  Not a pretty sight, correct?

Second, you have to wonder out loud how much tread is left on Gronk’s tires.  No one ever questions his ability to “play with pain” and answer the bell.  Still, there’s only so many times you can get off the canvas and continue the fight.

There’s only so much a body can take before it says “no mas” and won’t allow you to compete at an NFL level.  I think Gronk, who will turn 31 next month, will hit that wall sooner than later if he suits up for the 2020 season in Tampa Bay.

The third, and final, reason is the pandemic itself.  The League may be forced to go with an extremely abbreviated training camp and preseason to complete any legitimate regular season.

I had Ian Beckles, former Bucs and Eagles Offensive Guard and a nine-year veteran of the pro football wars, on KSP Radio and asked the following question.  Could players get ready for regular season games with only three or less weeks to prepare?

The response from the Montreal native was crystal clear.  Beckles stated, and I paraphrase, “No.  You don’t even get into football shape until Week 4.  There is no way players will be ready for a regular season game in that short period of time.”  Spot on, #62, with that commentary.

Just too many variables that the 6’6″ White Tiger, and I’m referring to Gronk’s character on The Masked Singer where he was the hit of the program, will have to overcome to be productive for the Buccaneers.  With that data in hand, I’m saying this is a really dumb move by the Pewter Pirates.

Again, there are times that I give my opinion and I truly hope that I’m wrong.  This is one of those cases but, with all the information that I presented above, I wouldn’t bet the mortgage payment against it.