Tampa Bay Times
When you have won four Super Bowl titles together, you throw shade and spirals back and forth with equal proficiency.
So it is with Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski, co-stars in commercials, webcasts and the Patriots’ and Bucs’ huddles. Brady lobbied — even defied — his coaches by insisting on re-entering the waning stage of Sunday’s 41-17 romp of Carolina, just to help Gronkowski get one more reception to trigger his second $500,000 contract incentive of the game.
Gronk’s response: “I’m going to have to bring out all the tight ends out to dinner, and a couple of the quarterbacks. I don’t bring Tom out, I’m going to bring the backup quarterbacks out to dinner and all that good stuff.”
No sweat off Brady’s graying brow: “That’s OK, I know what he eats,” the 44-year-old quarterback said Monday on his Let’s Go! podcast. “Let’s just say it’s not along the guidelines of TB12.”
Banter aside, Brady’s concerted efforts to make his longtime peer a million bucks wealthier betrays an appreciation he reinforced during Monday’s podcast.
“The guy’s an incredible player and he’s a great teammate,” Brady told co-host Jim Gray. “And I think what he does day-in and day-out to prepare himself is what blows me away. I think he’s the greatest tight end in NFL history. What he does in the run game, in the pass game, the kind of teammate he is — he’s amazing.
Gronkowski needed seven receptions Sunday to trigger a $500,000 contract incentive, and 85 yards to hit another half-million-dollar bonus. He reached the 85 yards on consecutive receptions of 42 and 19 yards over the middle on the second half’s opening possession, but remained at six catches late in the fourth quarter with the Bucs up 31-17.
At that point, CBS’ cameras captured Brady on the sideline in a viral moment, refusing to be taken out of the game. Moments later, he tossed a short throw to Gronk near the left sideline for a 7-yard gain.
“We should all appreciate the amazing things that he’s accomplished,” Brady said.
“Every year someone’s trying to find the next Rob Gronkowski, and that’s a very, very flattering thing for someone to say. All the scouts want to go, ‘This guy’s going to be the next Rob Gronkowski.’ And I’m always like, ‘No, there’s only one Rob Gronkowski.’”
Tom Brady didn’t want to get out of the game until he got Rob Gronkowski one more reception for a $500K incentive. pic.twitter.com/B3HdJnf0E8— Ari Meirov (@MySportsUpdate) January 10, 2022
Contact Joey Knight at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @TBTimes_Bulls.
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