Buccaneers: Rob Gronkowski disrespected by Patriots before 2021 return

Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Rob Gronkowski (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Rob Gronkowski (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) /

The Buccaneers would never disrespect Rob Gronkowski as the Patriots have.

The Patriots are lucky to have rostered the best quarterback and the best tight end in NFL history. Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski leave a legacy that will be hard for anyone to reach, which makes it all the more confusing that the Patriots would decide to disrespect Gronk before his return to New England this season with the Buccaneers.

Short of something miraculous happening, no one will ever wear the number 12 for the Patriots again. Heck, after just one season, no one may ever wear number 12 for the Buccaneers after Brady, so it’s clear that the GOAT has the talent to retire jerseys.

Gronk, on the other hand, has apparently not done enough for the Patriots (retired with the best career by a tight end in history and with four Super Bowl rings) to have number 87 retired as well.

Based on the roster released by the Patriots today, a new player is wearing 87 in New England. Tre Nixon is the first player to wear Gronk’s number since he left the Patriots, and the decision feels like a slap in the face.

Why would anyone in New England ever want to wear the same number as Rob Gronkowski? It’s like wearing 23 for the Bulls. Why start your professional career out by making an obvious comparison between you and the best player to wear that number in team history? LeBron James was able to make a compelling case in a smaller league, but this is a lofty goal for Nixon.

Gronkowski has done so much for the Patriots that anyone else wearing his number is wrong. Nixon would have to put together a Hall of Fame career just to come close, and while we don’t want to count anyone out yet, that is already a tall enough order on its own.

The good news for Nixon is that he doesn’t play the same position as Gronk, but the decision is still weird.

The Patriots already had a lot to worry about before the Buccaneers come to town in a few months, and short of shutting the whole city down in an effort to throw parades and leave rose petals on every step Brady and Gronk will take during their trip (which they deserve), the greatest duo in league history will have one more thing to add to their bulletin board prior to their homecoming.

Trending. Buccaneers: K Ryan Succop is officially on the hot seat. light

Want to write about the Buccaneers? Apply below!