Regardless, the pair of Super Bowl champions and future Hall of Famers still have a lot of connections to the franchise and always will.
A growing personality off the field, Gronkowski recently joined Up & Adams to discuss a variety of topics, including the Buccaneers’ quarterback situation. It will be a little strange without Brady under center as Kyle Trask, Baker Mayfield, and John Wolford compete to be his replacement.
In the end, Gronk is confident that the veteran with the most experience – Baker Mayfield – will be Tampa Bay’s opening-day starter in 2023.
“I think Baker will win the quarterback position,” Gronkowski said. “I think he’ll be the starting quarterback for the Tampa Bay Bucs going into the season.
The only way I see the Bucs pulling him is if he just absolutely plays horrendous, which I don’t think he will.” After an up-and-down season where Mayfield spent time with the Carolina Panthers and Los Angeles Rams, Gronkowski thinks that the Buccaneers will put him in a position to succeed. The competition between the trio of quarterbacks during training camp will be paramount.
Former second-round Kyle Trask is going to need to push Mayfield to be his best with an opportunity to earn the starting job himself finally on the table. “I think the Bucs are going to put him in a position to succeed.
There will be competition between him and Kyle [Trask] during the training camp, which they want,” Gronkowski said. “They need Kyle to have that competition to bring the best out of him.
He knew he wasn’t going to play behind Tom [Brady], so sometimes you can relax when you know you’re in that position.” “This is the time to compete for a starting job for both of them. I believe Baker will win it in the end, he’ll be put in the position to succeed,” Gronkowski continued.
“He’s got great teammates around him, Chris Godwin, Mike Evans leading them at receiver, they got a great defense around them.”
Mayfield completed 60% of his passes for 2,163 yards with ten touchdown passes to eight interceptions in 2022 while suiting up for the Panthers and Browns.
His numbers were better in Los Angeles where he connected on 63.6% of his throws with a two-to-one turnover ration (4 TDs-2 INTs). That’s the type of Mayfield that Gronkowski is expecting to see with the Buccaneers. “I would just say Baker just needs to be the Baker that he was when he was with the Rams,” Gronk said.
“He just doesn’t need to be a hero, just protect the ball and don’t turn it over and he will succeed and the Tampa Bay Bucs will be going to the playoffs.”