Rob Gronkowski came out of retirement so he could play with Tom Brady again, after the six-time Super Bowl champion's moved from the New England Patriots to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, his agent said.
Gronkowski had spent nine seasons with the Patriots, winning three Super Bowls, before retiring in 2019 with time left on his contract, which meant New England retained first refusal on his services. He signed for Tampa on Tuesday.
"Shortly after Tom Brady went to Tampa, Rob and I had a conversation that this is a situation that would be appealing to him," Gronkowski's agent Drew Rosenhaus told ESPN.
"Obviously, this was a deal that New England had to feel good about, Tampa had to feel good about. This wasn't just about Rob. All the parties involved had to be in agreement."
The Patriots traded the 30-year-old in exchange to Tampa in a deal that also involved a swap of draft picks.
"It was just time for him to continue his career with Tom Brady in Florida, with Tampa," Rosenhaus said.
"It was something cool and exciting and challenging to him. He's well-rested and looking forward to playing with Tom again."
Gronkowski and Brady enjoyed a near-telepathic relationship during their time in New England.
"Rob Gronkowski is one of the best tight ends in NFL history and he plays the game with the type of passion and desire that sets him apart," Buccaneers general manager Jason Licht said in a statement.
"Rob has played his entire career alongside Tom Brady, and their accomplishments speak for themselves. Together they have developed the type of chemistry on and off the field that is crucial to success."