Tampa Bay Buccaneers broke the news of two new back-to-back contracts with former New England Patriots players, Rob Gronkowski and Tom Brady. Though this instilled happiness within their fanbase, people have started questioning the trade as team officials might have broken a rule or two in the process.
Buc’s acquisition of Gronkowski came late in the seventh round, when they traded him for one of their fourth-round selections. This deal would give their $50 million dollar acquisition, Tom Brady, his favorite receiving target.
Hoping to win the Superbowl, Tampa Bay Buccaneers might have gone against the rulebook by offering Gronkowski their playbook while the veteran tight end was still with the Patriots. The allegations began storming the internet when Gronkowski made a controversial comment on a public event sponsored by Bud Light. He responded to a statement that spoke about Cincinnati Bengals’ top pick, Joe Burrow’s comprehensive study of the team’s playbook. Upon hearing this, the player replied by saying,
“I was in a Tampa Bay Buccaneers playbook four weeks ago, and I wasn’t even on the team.”
Further, ‘Gronk’ said that he faced ridicule on the internet with people making a story out of it all. The Gronkowski deal came on April 21st, and his playing rights remained with the Patriots before that. Now, Gronkowski claiming he had been studying the playbook since four weeks surely has something to do with his lack of humor or public awareness.
Understanding the magnitude of controversy involved, Gronkowski tweeted that he “was just joking around” before adding that he “was pretty much [joking] the whole time that night.”
Gronkowski tweeted that he received the playbook, and it is “still in the package”. His initial comments show that he received the playbook shortly after the team signed Brady. However, scepticism is still in the air, as the Patriots refused to comment.
Did Tampa Bay Buccaneers Violate the Rules by offering Rob Gronkowski their playbook?
The NFL Policy declares this act of giving out sensitive information to any team player as “tampering”. Tampering also includes a team inducing a person to seek a contract with their club. This, in turn, affects the relations of the player with their team. Based on what Gronkowski claimed, Tampa Bay might have “tampered” and acted way too early by providing him with the playbook four weeks prior to his signing.
This isn’t the first time Tampa is in the headlines for breaking a rule. Their recent acquisition, Tom Brady, broke an NFL rule shortly after inking the deal. Brady broke into a stranger’s house last week. When apprehended, he stated that he thought the house belonged to Buc’s coordinator, Byron Leftwich. Before that, law enforcement allegedly caught Brady trying to enter a closed park amidst the quarantine lockdown.