Buccaneers: Rob Gronkowski making too much money to not make impact

(Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images) Rob Gronkowski
(Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images) Rob Gronkowski /

Tampa Bay Buccaneers need more production from this veteran tight end

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers fell short against the New Orleans Saints in Week 1 of the season last Sunday and there has been plenty of finger-pointing going on since that point.

Many Buccaneers fans have thrown Tom Brady under the bus for his two interceptions, including a pick-six, and Coach Bruce Arians hasn’t had much good to say about Brady either following the outing.

In addition to Brady, the offensive line has had its issues and allowed seven QB hits and three sacks against the Saints’ pass-rush, which was without one of its top defensive ends. The rushing attack with Leonard Fournette and Ronald Jones II wasn’t able to get going, either, which was a by-product of the offensive line and the two running backs not hitting their holes with enough explosiveness.

There’s one player, however, that has seemingly fallen in the weeds in this entire discussion, though. It’s Rob Gronkowski and there’s no doubt that Tampa Bay needs more production from the veteran tight end.

In the end, money says it all and the Buccaneers need more production for the price they’re paying

The Buccaneers knew what they were getting into when they made the trade to get Gronkowski out of retirement, agreeing to pay the tight end a base salary of $9 million on the last year of his deal.

That being said, they certainly didn’t get the return on their investment through the first game.

Gronkowksi played 54 snaps- 77 percent of the offensive snaps- and caught two passes for just 11 yards with three targets in the game.

It’s not to say that Gronkowski played a bad game by any means. As a matter of fact, the idea that he played more than 50 snaps in his first game back is a testament to how hard he’s worked to get on the field, but the truth is that he still has a longer road to go.

The Buccaneers are going to use the tight ends in the receiving more so this year than last year. That was abundantly clear when we saw how Brady ran the offense.

That means Gronkowski is going to have to do a better job of creating separation against his man- typically a linebacker or safety- and becoming a better edge blocker.

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The Buccaneers are simply paying him too much money for him not to make an impact. That’s why we must see the veteran tight end improve over the next few weeks.