Patriots versus Buccaneers in 2021 — will Brady and Gronk still be there?

PITTSBURGH, PA - DECEMBER 16: Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots in action against the Pittsburgh Steelers on December 16, 2018 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - DECEMBER 16: Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots in action against the Pittsburgh Steelers on December 16, 2018 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images) /

The Patriots are scheduled to play the Buccaneers in 2021. Will Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski still be there for what would be an epic matchup?

Every indicator we have ever seen from Tom Brady points to the fact that he is the biggest competitor on the planet.

He was pick No. 199 in the 2000 NFL Draft and he still uses that motivation to this day. In an interview with Rodney Harrison, Brady noted that he still looks at himself as a sixth-round draft choice, and that he can’t acknowledge that he is the greatest of all time … because he thinks that he isn’t.

We had the 2020 NFL Draft last week, and Brady’s scouting report back in 2000 went:

  • Poor build
  • Skinny
  • Lacks great physical stature and strength
  • Lacks mobility and ability to avoid the rush
  • Lacks a really strong arm
  • Can’t drive the ball down field
  • Does not throw a really tight spiral
  • Is a system type player that can be exposed if forced to ad lib
  • Gets knocked down easily

When Brady was asked what he thought about his draft report in May 2002 — right after winning his first Super Bowl — he said, “That kind of gets me fired up, because I’m thinking, you know, what the hell do these people know? That sounds like Joe Montana right there.”

Brady carried that chip on his shoulder his entire career, and it has driven him to pursue the highest levels of excellence. Tom Brady is a fierce competitor — and don’t doubt him, because if you do, he will make you pay.

In 2014, he was benched for Jimmy Garoppolo in the Kansas City Chiefs game on Monday Night Football. Pundits doubted him, thinking Jimmy G should even play the next week against Cincinnati.

We all know how that game went. After they blew out the 3-0 Bengals, Brady led the Patriots to their first Super Bowl win in a decade.

If you still don’t believe Tom Brady gets his competitive juices flowing when people doubt him, what did he do again after getting suspended for the first four games in 2016?

Well, he threw for 28 touchdowns against two interceptions, the Patriots went 14-2, and they won the Super Bowl in the most improbable comeback ever.

And what about two losses in December of 2018 to Miami and Pittsburgh? Surely, New England was done!

Tom Brady was flinching, inaccurate, and had a “noodle arm” according to Max Kellerman.

Oh, well Tom Brady trounced the Chargers, went into Arrowhead and won, and then won the Super Bowl … again.

So yes, Tom Brady cannot wait to try and get some revenge on the Patriots, who he thought gave up on him and didn’t believe in him anymore.

Good news for the Buccaneers and Tom Brady in 2020: Rob Gronkowski will be playing, and Rob Gronkowski is reportedly healthy. Brady is under contract for two years, and many expect him to complete that contract — if not play beyond it.

The question lies with Gronk. Will he want to play another year beyond 2020? If he stays healthy in 2020, then I could be convinced that he will want to play another year. If he gets banged up a little bit, but the Bucs were on the brink of a championship, then I could see Gronk wanting to give it one more go.

But if the Bucs have an underwhelming year, and Gronkowski sustains some injuries, I don’t see him extending his playing career beyond 2020.

So, in a best-case scenario for the Bucs, Gronk will be playing with Brady again in 2021, and they will have the chance to go up into New England and end the “Brady or Belichick” debate.

I’m sure the TV networks will be going crazy over that game — similar to when Manning came back to Indianapolis, but wearing Denver orange instead. He was cheered and thanked, but once the game started, Indy’s cheers only echoed for the Colts. Luck and the Colts spoiled Manning’s return, but it was a classic Sunday Night Football game.

Next. Relive the best Brady-to-Gronk moments of their NE careers. dark

I assume we will see Brady and Gronk’s return on prime time, and I hope we hear applause for the two greats. But nonetheless, once the game starts, Patriot fans will be in full-throat hoping the two lose the game.

Yes, we don’t even know the status on the 2020 NFL season, but let us fans enjoy theorizing about a game two years in advance!