4 expensive players the Buccaneers may have to move on from
By Rob Leeds
The Buccaneers should do everything in their power to keep Gronk and Tom Brady paired up during the next two years, but this would be impossible given Gronk’s current salary. With a base salary of nine million dollars, Gronkowski will need to play for half of that at the most if he wants to stay in Tampa Bay.
If Gronkowski was still playing like his old self, the Buccaneers should be far more willing to pay the veteran tight end, but his ability in the passing game has been minimal, and O.J. Howard looked like the better option to start the year that also carries a cheaper price tag.
Tampa Bay needs consistent tight end depth, but they won’t be able to maintain the most expensive tight end room in the league at the rate the salary cap is moving.
The rest of this season will be very telling, but the Bucs could likely take the risk of using players like Tanner Hudson, Antony Auclair, and Cameron Brate as cheaper alternatives than Gronk that still have some trade left on the tires.
If the Buccaneers can get Gronkowski to return on a cheaper contract, they may be able to make this work long-term, but the price needs to come down by a substantial amount.