Tight end Rob Gronkowski left the New England Patriots to sign a deal with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and fans are already asking questions about his number.
Prior to joining Tom Brady and the Bucs in 2020, Gronk played nine productive years as a Patriot. He made four All-Pro First Teams and won three Super Bowls during that time. Yes, Gronk became one of the best tight ends in NFL history.
Well, the Patriots weren’t willing to immortalize Gronk by retiring his number. Well, his iconic No. 87 jersey reissued a few days ago.
Mike Reiss from ESPN reported that the Patriots gave out the number to wide receiver Devin Ross. He tried out for the Patriots at mandatory minicamp. Once the wide receiver made the roster, he was issued No. 8. Bill Belichick and his team may not be that eager to hand out this jersey.
“Ross had donned number 87 during his tryout, which marked the first time Rob Gronkowski’s old number was back in circulation, but it was a short-lived return,” Reiss wrote. “Now that he’s been signed to the 90-man roster, Ross has officially been issued No. 8 (along with linebacker Ja’Whaun Bentley).”
Rob Gronkowski will see his number on the field again
The organization has retired just seven numbers in team history as confirmed by Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk. Only one of these stars, Bruce Armstrong, overlapped with the Belichick era. What does that mean? Some of the team’s best from the last couple of decades have yet to receive the honor and have their jerseys hung up for good.
Florio reported that many others from the Belichick and TB12 time in the 2000’s and 2010’s have had their jerseys used on the field again. Richard Seymour’s 93, Ty Law’s 24, Tedy Bruschi’s 54, Troy Brown’s 80, Adam Vinatieri’s 4, and Rodney Harrison’s 37 have all be reissued.
It’s more than obvious that no other player will wear Brady’s jersey number. We do believe that Gronkowski may see his number on the field again. Let’s see what happens in the next few months. Will the Patriots honor Gronk?