With the retirement of tight end Rob Gronkowski, the debate has started about his time with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Some Bucs fans believe he should be considered a Tampa Bay legend. However, fans of the New England Patriots would object to this claim.
But the objection isn’t over Gronk and his playing ability. So with two teams and their fan bases laying claim to the tight end, should Gronk be considered a Bucs legend?
Gronkowski’s Greatness Came In New England
In his 11-year NFL career, he spent nine years with the Patriots. It would be with New England that Gronk would set records as a tight end.
Update: @RobGronkowski sets the franchise record for multi-TD games (16) breaking a tie with Randy Moss.
— New England Patriots (@Patriots) November 26, 2017
However, setting team records wasn’t the only thing he did during his career with the Patriots. He set the single-season record for TDs by a tight end in his second season with New England.
Over his career, he’s set four records as a tight end. Most of those numbers for those records came during his time in New England, not Tampa Bay.
Rob Gronkowski retires holding 4 NFL records @RobGronkowski
Most receiving TDs in a season by a tight end (17)
Most career TDs in the postseason by a tight end (15)
Most total touchdowns in a season by a tight end (18)
Most 100 yard games by a tight end in NFL history (32)
— Kevin ODonnell Fox13 (@ODonnellFox13) June 21, 2022
So while he is a legendary tight end, it’s debatable if Tampa Bay should lay that claim on him with his career time there being only for two years. However, there is a moment in Buccaneers’ history that gives them a reason to claim he’s a legend there.
Gronkowski Kicked Off Super Bowl 55 With A Bang
One of the biggest moments during Super Bowl 55 was when Gronk got the first touchdown of the game. After Tampa Bay took the lead, they kept the pressure on Kansas City.
It was in that moment that momentum shifted towards the Buccaneers. With that play, many fans of the Buccaneers claimed he was a legend.
Brady finds Gronk for the first TD in Super Bowl 55!! pic.twitter.com/WVbHVJxD0u
— Bench Bros Sports (@benchbrossports) February 8, 2021
So while his time in Tampa Bay was short, he provided some legendary plays for the team. However, should his play during Super Bowl 55 be the only reason to consider him a Bucs legend?
Gronkowski Doesn’t Rank As High As Other Past Bucs Tight Ends
If you go off the receiving yards that Gronk accumulated in his two years with the Bucs, it doesn’t match those of other Bucs tight ends,
However, those tight ends had more seasons to get the receiving yards that Gronk got in his two seasons.
Strictly on total yards, Gronk ranks eighth behind Tampa Bay legends like Kellen Winslow Jr. and Jimmie Giles. He’s also fifth on the Tampa Bay tight end list for touchdowns. So, based on those stats, he isn’t quite a legend as a tight end for the Buccaneers. However, he’s among some of the best tight ends in the team’s history.
Legend? Yes! Tampa Bay Legend? Not Quite.
There’s no debate that Gronk is a legend at the tight end position. However, the statistics don’t show him being a legend with Tampa Bay.
But he performed when the team needed him during Super Bowl 55. So while he gave Tampa Bay some exceptional moments, the most legendary moments came in New England. However, he is one of the top ten tight ends to play in Tampa Bay, something that fans can be proud of.