During their time together with the New England Patriots, veteran quarterback Tom Brady and tight end Rob Gronkowski were considered one of the best partnerships in the NFL. In their nine years together in New England, the two connected for 7,786 yards and 78 touchdowns, good for fifth on the list of most prolific touchdown combinations in NFL history. During that span, Gronkowski won three Super Bowl rings and earned five Pro Bowl selections. Last season, Gronkowski decided to retire, leaving Brady without a reliable tight end as the Patriots failed to advance past the Wild Card. In the offseason, Brady decided to leave the Patriots after 20 years with the team and sign a two-year contract worth $50 million with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Seeing the opportunity to play with Brady once again, Gronkowski decided to cut short his retirement and joined the Buccaneers.

Gronkowski happy with decision to return

When asked about his decision to return to the NFL, Gronkowski told NFL 32 Live that he’s happy with the move. "It feels good to be back doing what I love, catching passes from Tom, making blocks for the running back, just doing what I do," said Gronkowski, per a report by Neil Reynolds and Cameron Hogwood of Sky Sports. Gronkowski added that he loves the game of football and being out on the field with his teammates. While in retirement, Gronkowski said he took care of himself so that he would always have the option to return to the NFL.

The veteran tight end also said that joining Tampa Bay was the best possible decision. “It's a fantastic organization. I'm just glad to be back,” said Gronkowski, per Sky Sports.

Gronk praises Tom

In the interview, Gronkowski revealed that Brady is looking like the same old Tom when they met almost 10 years ago, adding that the quarterback is placing the ball in perfect positions.

The arrival of Brady and Gronkowski to the Buccaneers has boosted their hopes of ending the team’s long playoff drought, which started in 2007. The offense looks good with young stars like wide receivers Mike Evans and Chris Godwin and tight ends O.J. Howard and Cameron Brate. The defense will be anchored by Shaq Barrett, who led the NFL in sacks with 19.5 last season.

The Buccaneers also added veteran rusher LeSean McCoy to supplement the production of young running back Ronald Jones.

Patriots not interested in Fournette

After Leonard Fournette was released by the Jacksonville Jaguars after three years with the team, the betting odds indicated that the Patriots were the co-favorites to land the running back, along with the Chicago Bears. However, Mike Giardi of NFL Media doused speculations about the Patriots pursuing Fournette, who is now a free agent after no team claimed him from the waiver wire. According to Giardi, a source within the organization does not believe the team will be in the running for Fournette. The Patriots are currently stacked at running back with Sony Michel, Damien Harris, Rex Burkhead and James White.

The Patriots also signed veteran rusher Lamar Miller in the offseason.

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