Arians: 'It was really Tom' who got Gronk to Bucs

Back in the NFL after a season away, Rob Gronkowski is also back with Tom Brady.

The tandem of terrific is also most notably set for Tampa Bay where each of the future Hall of Famers will play for the first time for a franchise that isn't the New England Patriots.

By Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians' account, it was Brady -- who signed a two-year deal this offseason with the Bucs -- who engineered the reunion and the added excitement for what may come for Tampa Bay.

"It was really Tom," Arians said Thursday on NFL Live, via's Jenna Laine. "Tom brought it up to me, and I didn't even think it was a possibility that he wanted to come back. And he was adamant about, yeah, he really wants to play; he'd love to play with us. So general manager] Jason Licht got the ball rolling with the [Patriots, the conversation was there, and he's working out, he's in great shape and he's raring to go. So we're really looking forward to getting on the practice field."

For only a fourth-round draft pick in the just-now-past draft, the Buccaneers acquired Gronkowski, a seventh-rounder, added excitement and a whole lot of possibilities.

The offensive-minded Arians has never really got much production out of the tight end spot. However, last year, the talented tight-end duo of Cameron Brate and O.J. Howard combined for 70 receptions and 770 yards receiving. Gronkowski's addition gives Tampa ridiculous depth and promise at the position. Of course, it also adds a most familiar teammate and target for TB12.

One has to believe even with Brate and Howard on board, though, Gronkowski is going to get the first look from Brady. After all, he's the one that got the ball rolling to get Gronkowski out of retirement, back on the field and down to Tampa.

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